Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Last night I opened a bottle of wine and found there were little mildew dots on the top of the cork. The seller said it wouldn’t have any impact on the quality of wine. Please advise if his saying is correct and the wine is still drinkable.
—David W., China
A little mold or mildew on the top of a cork isn’t unusual. It could have been caused by humid cellar conditions, or by a drop of wine left on the cork before the capsule was put in place. I’ve noticed it especially on older bottles of wine, and for the most part, it’s just on the surface or top section of the cork. If the wine smells strange before you taste it, by all means avoid it. But for all the many corks I’ve seen with a bit of mold, none of the wines have ever been ruined by it.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered