If you’re unsure whether a wine is corked, the first thing you should do is smell it. If a wine smells funny, you’re probably smelling corked. If not, you should return the entire bottle to the retailer. Although this may sound like a bad idea, it’s often perfectly acceptable. If you’re not sure, read on for some tips on how to spot a corked bottle.
If a wine smells corked, it’s most likely that it’s corked. While it’s possible to smell the cork, you cannot tell if it’s corked by just looking at it. Instead, you should look at the base of the wood cork. The base should be slightly stained, as this is an indication that the wine has been spoiled in storage. If a wine’s wooden cork crumbles or disintegrates, it’s most likely a bad cork.
While it’s not impossible to tell if a wine is corked by smell, this method is more challenging at restaurants. The first sniff of a wine with a cork might be too weak for a person untrained in tasting wine. It may take them 10 minutes to notice any taint. If you’re uncertain, call the waiter back and ask them to taste it again. A sommelier should be able to detect a corked wine, but if you’re unsure, call a sommelier and ask them to do it for you.