Ever opened a bottle and thought it was corked on first sniff but not on subsequent sniffs? Turns out according to Paula Mara of UC Davis that the taint is really there but the nose/ mind will block the smell for up to 7 minutes after the initial recognition. She’s found research done in the 70’s that corroborates her own experience in the university’s wine cellars. The mechanism and reason are unknown but given TCA and TBA* are not harmful to humans there’s no evolutionary disadvantage.
Could this be the reason that cork taint goes under reported at wine tastings (even by professionals)?
Bottom line follow the “Blink” philosophy if you think it’s tainted get the bottle replaced.
*TriCholorolAnisol (TCA) and TriBromolAnisol(TBA) are the primary compounds that create the musty odor.