Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

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

Dear Albert,

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.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

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.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.