Disappearing Cork Taint

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.

Back again and on a different tack

I’ve decided to revive this blog after two years absence.  Many things have changed in that brief time, not the least of which a new professional title (winemaker).  Stay tuned for thoughts about being a craftsman in the attention economy world.  Tune in and see what happens next (Urban Legend Cellars opening soon).
We’ll be barrel sampling our 2008 Barbera at UWX next month UWX – Urban Wine Experience come by and say hello!