Cork taint is one of wine's greatest enemies, and it's usually caused by the compound 2,4,6-trichloro- anisole, commonly known as TCA. Perceptible to wine tasters at varying levels, TCA taint in wine is identified by aromas such as mold, cardboard or wet newspaper. At lower concentrations, it mutes a wine's flavors. And it has led some winemakers, weary of the risk of corked bottles, to increasingly rely on other closures, such as screw caps. But a new study offers surprising insight into how TCA affects our senses, and its findings may provide insight about preventing cork taint altogether. Wine Spectator's Esther Mobley explains.
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