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Cork Taint and Sparkling Wine

I just returned a bottle of Cava after detecting cork taint but the manager informed me, rather callously, that sparkling wine that undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle "simply can not" be affected.

This has never come up iny studies and I was sure that all wines with corks could be affected - what's the real deal?


  • You can get TCA in any wine so long as it touches a source of infection at some point.  I once had a screwcap rose that was riddled with TCA and probably was stored in an infected barrel at one point.

  • Thank you for sharing Martin! I never made the connection it could also come from barrel. 

  • There was a high profile lawsuit this past fall in Napa where Opus One was suing a cooperage over TCA/TBA in barrels.

    Had this happen to me, too.I received some barrels last summer that had obvious off notes. Sent some shavings in to be tested and they came back for TBA (smells the same as TCA). Luckily, I picked up on it. Apparently, someone else did, too, because I got a call from the cooperage asking if we smelled anything off. Apparently, the shipping container they came over from France in had treated wood floors that contaminated the whole lot. Really scary stuff.

  • That is very scary. My radar is now set to 11.

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