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Screw top wine faults


While here in Australia we are drinking reds under screw cap. A couple of them have had a taste that I would say, if drinking blind, were cork tainted though that cannot be the case. What is it that I am tasting? Anyone got any ideas?

Normally I might take the wines back to the shop and discuss. But we are in small places that don’t have any proper wine shops and the staff at the BWS store are youngsters who know nothing about the stock they are selling.


Perhaps stored in overly hot conditions… Wouldn’t smell/taste exactly the same as TCA but it could kill the fruit to a similar degree.

Or maybe just the result of very reductive wine-making, which is v common in Australia? Rubber and rotten egg tend to indicate this - it will often blow off with some swirling) decanting.


Corks are only the main delivery system for TCA (cork taint) but they don’t actually cause it. There are many ways you can get TCA in wine even without corks, but then it probably comes from the winery environment. It is entirely possible to get ‘corked’ wine under screwcap.

(whisper it … I’ve even had a corked wine that was closed with a DIAM closure)

Of course it might have been something else, as @mooble says: baked bottles, oxidation through a failed closure, extreme reduction (often caused by lack of sufficient oxygen at bottling), …

Sadly there is no guaranteed closure, and even if it is not that, there are many ways for wines to get damaged before you drink it.


Thanks Mooble and Robert for two informative replies. Who knew wine making was such a delicate operation.


You can have a corked wine from a screwcap - the producer might bottle both screwcap and cork wines in the same bottling plant, the TCA from the cork might contaminate the screwcaps.