Cork stoppers have been used for many centuries to seal wine in various vessels. Therefore, corks have become a traditional part of wine packaging in many countries and still play an important role for the entire wine industry. Nowadays, there is a wide option of bottle cork stoppers on the market, such as natural corks, agglomerated and technical stoppers (1 + 1), etc. These cork closures have a number of advantages, including positive sustainable and ecological aspects. Natural cork material can also be responsible for cork taint, which imparts musty/moldy or wet cardboard off-odors to the wine. However, corks are not the only source of cork taint in wine, as will be shown in the present chapter. Over the past decades, a number of compounds have been detected that can contribute to the cork taint. Among them, haloanisoles play a major role, in particular 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), which has been shown to be responsible for 50–80% or more of musty defect cases in wine. Currently, the cork and wine industries have developed a number of tools and technologies to effectively prevent cork tait in wine or to remove it if the wine is already contaminated. These practical as well as analytical questions about the TCA defects are the subject of the actual chapter.
Part of the book: Grapes and Wine