Cork bits

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Georacer, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Georacer

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    Hello everybody,

    We were on a picnic yesterday with the guys and gals and brought along a bottle of wine. Of course the girl who brought it forgot the bottle opener.

    We proposed cutting the cork with a knife but some protested that cork bits should never reach the wine, or it would go bad.

    I 've never heard of that before. Do you seasoned wine makers know anything about it?
     
  2. t06afre

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    May 11, 2009
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    Once bottled, wine should be protected from its nemesis, the oxygen in the air. If the cork dries out and eventually shrinks so that it no longer acts as an airtight seal, it may start to allow oxygen in to the wine and ruin it. For this reason, wine bottles have traditionally been stored on their sides, so that the wine keeps the cork thoroughly damp and swollen to fill the bottleneck. Screwcapped bottles can be stored at any angle however.
    I guess this probably a misunderstanding of the term "corked wine" which is a somewhat misleading expression. And has nothing to do with the the taste of a cork, or particles of cork floating around in the bottle. You can read more about "corked wine" here http://www.thekitchn.com/what-is-corked-wine-what-does-corked-wine-taste-like-164148
     
  3. Georacer

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    I should be more clear on that:

    They told me that if cork bits were to fall into the wine while trying to force/cut the cork open, the wine could become harmful/poisonous(?) and should not be consumed.

    They couldn't justify it, just said it was passed on to them by their families. Since all legends have a grain of truth, it stimulated my curiosity.
     
  4. strantor

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    poppycock says I
     
  5. t06afre

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    As far as I can see they are very wrong. Any contact with the cork will not harm the wine itself. But it may ruin the wine experience of course. Then you have to filter the wine through your teeth. Tell your friends to stop w(h)ining about cork
     
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  6. Georacer

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    I didn't get that.
     
  7. strantor

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    Poppycock = nonsense.

    I was saying your friends are wrong.
     
  8. Georacer

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    Oh, I see. Alright. I thought as much, but had to ask, nonetheless.
     
  9. tracecom

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    Because the wine in the bottle comes in contact with the bottom of the cork continuously (when properly stored), it seems ridiculous to say that it would be spoiled by contact with a cork.
     
  10. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    I suppose someone read cork bits are poisonous on the internet, and everything on the internet is true.
     
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  11. Wendy

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    To steal a line from a current TV commercial, "Of course it is! The internet says it is!"
     
  12. Georacer

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    If that was the case I wouldn't be examining it. On two occurrences, an uncle and a mother (at about 60yo now) supported that if cork bits fell into the bottle, the wine should be thrown away, based on passed down knowledge.

    I am now convinced that this is not the case, but am still curious why this myth has appeared. I will probably never find out, though.
     
  13. Wendy

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    I suspect a taste issue. The outer layer of the cork, being in constant contact with the alcohol and acetic liquid, is going to change some. Probably chemically. The inner cork just tastes plan nasty.
     
  14. t06afre

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    As I said in post two. It comes from the term "corked wine", often used on wine gone bad during storing. In my country we use the term "cork taste" directly translated.
     
  15. maxpower097

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    Feb 20, 2009
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    Corks don't effect the taste of wine. It has been in full contact with glass, and about 2 square inches of cork for years, in not decades. The bits of cork aren't enough to actually cause a surface area of the cork to increase to the point it takes on a flavor. Corks do not effect the flavor of wine at all. They say just drink it or strain it. Everyone on one half of my family are all wino's they have there aireraitor vase like glasses they pour the wine thru like some sort of reverse wine bong. She bought it in wine country in CA.
     
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  16. maxpower097

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    About the corked wine going bad, yes this is normal. This happens when you store the bottle standing upright. The wine doesn't touch the cork, microscopic amounts of oxygen get into the bottle and spoil it. Now if you take that same bottle of wine, moonshine, whisky, etc.. You store the bottles at an angle laying down so the wine is in contact with the inner cork. This causes the cork to swell cause the liquid and prevents any gas exchange which spoils wine/spirits. Thats why wine racks always store the bottles on the side. You'd be shocked how many vintage $100,000 bottles of wine and Dom have been ruined because people didn't know this when they stored it. This is the only issue I've heard about corked wine going bad.

    Perhaps they meant when cork peices were floating in the wine prior to opening? I could see the cork dry out, the wine spoil, then the cork start to break up inside the bottle. This would be plausable.
     
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  17. strantor

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    And this is why I use corks one size too big when I cork my wines. They're already swollen greater than the neck of the bottle before the wine touches them. And no, I haven't had any expand and break the glass.
     
  18. #12

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    Nov 30, 2010
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    or my favorite, BS!
    translated from the Spanish, toro mierda.

    To be fair, dropping crumbles of cork in a new vat and letting it soak for several years might have some effect, but breaking a cork just before drinking the wine wouldn't allow enough time for nasties to grow, at least not as fast as you can and several friends can drink the wine.
     
  19. shortbus

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    Wine comes with corks? My Thunderbird, Mad Dog20-20 or Ripple never has corks. :)
     
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  20. #12

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    Ah yes, as the French call it, "American Champagne".:D
     
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