Fixing corked wine
The idea of “fixing” corked wine by removing the offending molecule, trichloroanisole (TCA), is certainly not new. However, luckily for me, I rarely come across corked bottles. When I do, I almost always forget that this technique exists.
However, the other night, I was reading through the wine section of Modernist Cuisine, and noticed that they recommend the process, albeit with a refinement. At the same time, I happened to have a corked bottle sitting on the counter that we’d opened the night before. (I didn’t dump it because, although it wasn’t expensive, I don’t like to waste wine!)
So it seemed like a good opportunity to try out the technique. After pouring a sample into a glass for comparison purposes, I poured the rest of the bottle into a food-safe polyethylene bag. Then, figuring it would increase the available surface area, I added a piece of polyethylene plastic wrap as well. I swished the wine around for 10 minutes, then poured some of it out into a different glass.
Did it work? I would say yes, but with a qualification. The musty smell of cork taint was certainly gone (although I wasn’t blind-tasting the samples), but it was replaced by a “plasticky” smell that I associate with new zipper bags. It’s possible that the bags are coated with some substance that causes the smell and dissolved into the wine. If I get an opportunity to try this again – and I hope I don’t any time soon! – I’ll either use a washed bag, or a separate container and some plastic wrap alone.
Have you ever had a corked wine you wished you could fix?