Let’s debunk some of those wine myths

By Julianna Hayes, The Daily Courier | Posted: Sunday, July 6, 2014

During our marathon judging sessions last month for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in B.C. Wines, my panel picked up on a wine we identified as “corked.”

It was musty smelling like a damp basement, which is a strong indication of the presence of a nasty little chemical known as TCA, which finds its way occasionally in corks and taints the wine. We pointed the flaw out to Marjorie King, organizer-extraordinaire of the awards, who scurried off to get us a fresh pour with a new bottle.

Moments later, she returned to tell us the wine in question did not have a cork — it was sealed with a screwcap.

Consumers may be somewhat surprised by this, but it’s a myth that screwcaps have resolved all the issues the industry encountered with corks. And while it doesn’t happen often, a wine with a twist-off can be “corked.” That’s because the TCA has found its way into the winery itself, sometimes affecting whole batches or, worse, the vintner’s entire production — which is a far larger problem than a single wine being ruined by a single cork.

It got me thinking about the myths around wine and how they get perpetuated, despite the best efforts of myself and other writers who try to debunk them.

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