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Champagne 101

How do I know if a Champagne is Corked?  And what can I do about it?

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You don’t seem like yourself…..


That is exactly what I said to the otherwise stunning Pol Roger Champagne I had a few weekends ago.  My champagne was CORKED!


When chemical compound 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) comes into contact with natural cork, it causes a moldy, musty, or wet cardboard aroma in wine. All natural corks are vulnerable to cork taint, including my beloved champagne! 















What does cork taint look like in Champagne?


Basically the same way as still wine- overpowering damp aromas and a notable reduction in fruit flavors. The bubbles aren’t affected, however, so don’t let anyone try to convince you that effervescence is a sign a bottle isn’t corked (ours had plenty of bubbles).  But…a lack of bubbles CAN point to a deteriorated, or faulty cork.














What can you do?

The good news is it is not common at all to find cork taint in champagne.  I have only come across it twice, and I consume A LOT of champagne!


Unfortunately, your champagne will not be pleasant to drink with cork taint.  But, like any corked bottle, don’t be afraid to send it back.  Good retailers and restaurants are happy to offer you a replacement bottle.



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