Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Is it safe to drink wine from a “cooked” bottle where the cork has popped up a bit?
Safe? Yes. Desirable? Probably not.
If a bottle has been exposed to excessive heat, the wine inside could start to expand, which can push the cork up, and there might also be sticky signs on the neck that wine has leaked out. This doesn’t always mean that the wine is ruined. But if the temperature has affected the wine enough, it could be “cooked,” which means the flavors will taste cooked, as if they were stewed, baked or canned. Not only will the wine’s freshness be compromised, but its color might start to look a little browner. It’s not unsafe, as you ask—it will not make you sick. But cooked wines are usually unappetizing and disappointing.