“Cork Taint in Wine ‘Suppresses’ Sense of Smell” “Cork Taint In Wine ‘Suppresses’ Sense of Smell”

If you haven’t signed up for Decanter Magazine’s Daily News Alert, you should: I receive a variety of news articles relevant to the wine world, including the latest purchases of Chateaux in Bordeaux, extreme weather conditions that will affect upcoming vintages, and the latest in appellation laws the world over. Today my news alert included this interesting article about a new study of TCA, the chemical involved in cork taint. This is a pretty common wine fault and I come across “corked” bottles somewhat regularly.

Now, scientists in Japan are claiming that TCA may actually alter drinkers’ senses by shutting down their sense of smell. The musty, wet cardboard odors attributed to TCA may actually be due to the suppression of olfactory receptors. I’m going to be a wine dork and say it: Neat!

Sometimes I come across a wine I believe is corked, but it may be difficult to tell at first. With these bottles, I ask myself the question, do I smell any fruit? If the answer is no, I know something’s wrong with the wine. Even a simple, inexpensive bottle should have something–apples or cherries. Maybe the lack of fruit is due to my sense of smell shutting down.

It will be interesting to see if this finding will have an affect on how we deal with TCA problems in the future.

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