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,
Is there any danger of getting lead poisoning from drinking an old bottle of wine in which the wine has leaked through the cork and contacted the lead foil covering the cork and upper neck of the bottle?
—Edward S., Statesboro, Ga.
While I've not found any definitive reason to be concerned, the whole lead scare was strong enough to have the wine industry abandon lead capsules in the 1980s. Lead capsules had a thin layer of tin to protect against contamination, but if you have an old wine bottle with a foil capsule, you ought to wipe the top of the bottle carefully before pouring.
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