Wine is a living being in its own way. Personification and emodients of many. But you have heard the expression, "It is corked!" It is then followed with some deep sighs and frustration. It happens. Even Michael Jordan missed a few shots, right?
Why corking wine? Why ask why?
Remember, there are no dumb questions. We are all start somewhere. Some of us are "infants" in certain areas. Nothing to turn your nose up at. Instead, grow together. Or as John Lennon said, "Come Together, right now..." Away from the Beatles and back to the rudimentary.
Why they were popular?
It corresponded with the growth of glass bottles.
What they do?
Reducing the oxidation process. A proper evolution. You want the wine to age and evolve slowly or the rate that winemaker so desired.
Quality corks only allow a minimal amount of oxygen into the wine. Like your breathing, a "correct amount of air" is important for intake.
1 milligram PER...
The best corks allow approximately 1 milligram of oxygen to enter the bottle each year.
Precise amount of air to remove the sulfites that were added in the bottling process to keep the wine fresh and to avoid the harmful effects of oxidation.
WORTH OF YOUR AGE and SOFTEN SOME TANNINS
The small amount of air is instrumental in helping age-worthy wines develop their complexities whilst softening the tannins.
What CORKED WINE is NOT?
A corked wine does NOT mean a wine that has tiny particles of cork floating around in the glass.
Wine hat has become contaminated with cork taint. You are not eating or tasting cork but rather "cork taint" is not simply the taste of a cork.
BACK TO THE SCIENCE
Rather it is caused by the presence of a chemical compound called TCA (2,4,6 – trichloroanisole). TCA is formed when natural fungi (of which many reside in cork) come in contact with certain chlorides found in bleaches and other winery sanitation / sterilization products.
Of course not, look elsewhere friends. But seriously, it can happen - even to the best of them. It caused by natural fungi and a naturally occurring science process.
NOTHING TO FEAR
Nothing harmful happens per se but it can dampen the mood a smidgeon.
It is why some wineries are switching to the glass stoppers. Check these wines out and let us know your thoughts.