Wine Hacks: How to… Save a Corked Bottle

Scenario

You’re on a date and things are going surprisingly well. Unfortunately, dinner has come to an end and it’s time for the check. In an attempt to keep things going you, invite them back for a glass of wine. You get back to your place and, thankfully, you have one bottle left in your pantry. You open it, pour yourself a glass and are immediately overwhelmed by the musty odor. Oh no, it’s corked! What do you do?

 

Plastic Wrap Theory

In the past, when we’ve come across a tainted bottle we would pour it right down the drain. But, what if you could make a bad bottle of wine drinkable again? We did some research and came across the idea of using plastic wrap to save a corked bottle. We were skeptical, but decided to give it a try.

Let’s start with the “science” behind it. When a bottle is “corked” or suffers from “cork taint” it contains trichloroanisole (TCA). Plastic wrap is made up of Polyvinylidene Chloride, a derivative of trichloroethane, which acts as a sponge to absorb the TCA.

 

Vinum 55 Experiment

Materials Used:

Glad Plastic Wrap
Corked Bottle of Wine
3 wine glasses
3 Decanters

 

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Step One:
Opened a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, poured a glass and realized it was corked.

 

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Step Two:
Loosely crumpled a sheet of plastic wrap into a ball and placed it into the first decanter.

 

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Step Three:
Kept the original glass, for comparison, and poured the rest of the bottle into the first decanter.

 

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Step Four:

Poured the first decanter into the second decanter with a fresh ball of plastic wrap.

After a few minutes, we tried a glass of the twice-decanted wine.

Verdict: It smelled like a good bottle of wine but still had a slightly musty taste.

 

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Step Five:

Poured the rest of the wine from the second decanter into the third decanter with a fresh ball of plastic wrap.

We waited another few minutes and poured a glass.
Verdict: The cork taint was gone and the wine was perfectly drinkable.

 

 

Although we were sure the wine tasted better, we wanted to see if it was still good to someone who hadn’t tasted the original. So, we called over our tech guy, Klaus, who is a wine enthusiast that would be able to tell if the bottle was tainted. He didn’t know about our little experiment. We asked him to try a glass of wine and tell us what he thought about it. He said he would “definitely drink it again” on his own volition.

To our surprise, the plastic wrap worked! We would definitely forgo a corked bottle during one of our tastings, but would use this trick again in a bind.

Conclusion
In just a short amount of time, you can save your night with a package of plastic wrap and a little white lie. It may not be the best wine you’ve ever tasted, but good enough to serve to guests without them knowing the bottle was corked.