Share

Champagne and sparkling wines don’t ever get “corked.” 

Answer: False.

Both sparkling wines and Champagne can be “corked”—that is, tainted with TCA, the chemical that creates a funky odor that makes wines smell like a wet dog sitting on wet newspapers in a damp cellar. In fact, according to the French consulting oenologist and TCA expert Dr. Pascal Chatonnet, TCA is actually easier to smell in sparkling wines than in still wines. This is because sparklers are more aromatically delicate and also because the bubbles have the effect of volatilizing the compound, that is, making it smell more pronounced. 

According to Dr. Chatonnet, TCA can be smelled in still wines at a threshold of 2 to 5 nanograms per liter, whereas TCA can be smelled in sparklers at a threshold of 1 to 1.5 nanograms per liter.

Get WineSpeed

Join tens of thousands of other wine lovers. Get each week’s edition of WineSpeed delivered to your inbox every Friday. It’s fast. It’s free. It’s the smartest way to stay up to speed on wine.
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Be sure to check your inbox to confim your subscription.