Sometimes a moldy cork…

…is just a moldy cork….This 2007 Burgundy was still good despite the shocking mold underneath the capsule.

cork mold

cork mold2

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18 Responses to “Sometimes a moldy cork…”


  1. I had my first experience of this sort not long ago. I stumbled on the last three bottles of a 1997 white burgandy, a premier cru, that was on sale for the whopping price of $7. The seller said “you could always cook with it.” I don’t know why he said that. After getting past the appearance of the cork, which was entirely on the top and much worse than your picture appears, the wine was very good. I am sure I shall never be so lucky as to find a wine this good and this old for $7 again.


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  3. Last year, I had the good fortune of sampling some Haut-Brion from 1929 with a group of friends. When we inspected the cork, it had obviously leaked at some point and had developed what must have been some sort of mold covering the opening above the cork and below the foil; we called it “gunk” and figured the wine would be deader than Lincoln.

    As it turned out, that gunk/mold actually **protected** the wine after it had leaked and formed some sort of seal. The wine was interesting, not flawed, and still quite drinkable. Another lesson in not freaking out too early when the cork is covered in gunk! :)


  4. Nice small mold :-) My Christmas bottle of Burgundy had cork which seemed like it’s growing again :-) http://www.jizni-svah.cz/2009/12/vanocni-vinna-skoropohadka.html


  5. Hi Tyler, would love to hear your further thoughts on cork versus screwcap – I’ve managed to start or curate or whatever the correct term is over on my blog and your input would be great.

    See here.


  6. I’m glad it worked out for you this time.

    You know no one has this discussion when it’s a screwcap. This whole thread is like following a discussion on bloodletting or some other ancient system of medicine to cure illness, when we live in a modern world of antibiotics and kidney transplants.


  7. I don’t know why you find it “shocking.” You must not cellar many Germans.


  8. I think a moldy cork does invite further investigation.

    Does the cork seem crumbly? Wet? Deep in the neck?
    Protruding?

    Is there an unpleasant smell after you remove the foil?


  9. Entirely normal to have mould on the cork. Unless the wine was bottled 2 months ago. What’s the fuzz?


  10. Shocking? Perhaps for a 2007. But that’s not very moldy compared to many corks I’ve seen, esp. on aged German riesling. The wine inside has generally been fine.


  11. On a somewhat related note, I opened a bottle of cheap wine (Circa 2007) the other day and there was 1) No cork 2) No pull-top and 3) No pop top. Instead, the aluminum tape was firmly wrapped around the top, in an almost impossible-to-remove way, and when I finally carved an opening into the top, there was just a thin sheet of what appeared to be styrofoam, with the neck empty to about the shoulder of the bottle. Before I go back to the wine store to be educated, can anyone tell me what this is all about? Thanks in advance….


  12. Not completely unknown to find young wines that got overfilled or had spillage at bottling, hence some mould in early years.

    For older wines it’s really quite common and whilst a quick wipe of the rim before pouring is prudent, I’ve always been more careful to wipe the rim of the old lead capsule sealed bottles.

    regards

    Ian


  13. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I just wrote up this quick post to basically remind/inform the casual wine consumer that even though there may be some mold on the outside of the cork (of a young wine), it doesn’t at all mean that the wine is bad. That’s all.

    Oh, and to try out the macro setting on my camera!


  14. Kate – That sounds really weird. What was the wine?


  15. Hi everybody,
    It is sometimes normal, it he winery where I am oenologist Bodegas Riojanas Spain, when I am botteling Reserves or Crianza it is possible you find it.
    The reason of this is because there is humidity where they are in the non oxigeno agged, that you need in this kind of wines.
    Hugs of Spain
    Pablo Orio


  16. This is why I’m all for screw caps.

    Paul Kalemkiarian
    President, Wine of the Month Club


  17. Dear Paul,
    I think that in Reservas and Great Reservas of Rioja is better natural cork.


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