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.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
If I open a bottle of red wine and when I smell the cork and it's corky, should I pour the bottle down the drain or can it still be drunk?
—Albert A., Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles
Well, I guess it depends how thirsty you are. Me, personally, it would take a dying-of-thirst-in-a-desert scenario to get me to suck down a bottle of wine that's afflicted with TCA (the chemical compound 2,4,6-trichloroanisole), and its nasty odors of musty, damp cellars and wet newspapers. I can't find any good use for corky wines. They don't get better, they're no good to cook with, and they depress me. I say dump it, or better yet, find the receipt and try to return it.
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