Mark Lipton wrote:Thomas wrote:That would mean the cork can taint the wine without touching it.
Thomas, although Dale has explained his story, cork taint can be spread without direct contact between cork and wine. The very fact that you can smell it tells you that TCA is volatile enough to exist partly in the gas phase. Any gas in the headspace can and will dissolve in the wine to whatever extent it's soluble. Technically, this is called gas-phase diffusion, but it's a far slower process than simply leaching TCA out of a tainted cork directly into the wine. Nonetheless, a wine stoppered with a tainted cork will pick up the taint even if the bottle is always stored upright. Alas, we are so senstive to TCA (for the most part) that it can be detected in the low part per billion level: it doesn't take much to ruin your wine.
Thanks Mark. I supected as much but this is an area in which I have no access to study.
Anyway, it certainly doesn't take much for TCA to ruin my wine. I seem to be extra alert to its presence. My wife thinks I'm a dog...wait a minute, that can't be right. She thinks I have a dog's nose. That's better.