Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Joe Riley

Corked or Capped -- or Just Plain Bad

Recommended Posts

Could always be corked somehow just like a wine... never heard of it happening in vodka but I would guess that it's possible? I've had a bottle of Three Olives Vanilla, which also has a cork, on my bar for 4-5 years now (maybe someday it'll be gone?) and no sign yet of off-smells.

I guess that Brett can be on the cork of a vodka bottle just as it could be on a wine bottle.

I have my doubts that it could survive that amount of alcohol. Any microbiologists here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess that Brett can be on the cork of a vodka bottle just as it could be on a wine bottle.
Brett (Brettanomyces) and Trichloroanisole (TCA - the cause of wine being 'corked') are two completely different things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, it's a bottle of Belvedere, comes with a cork top. It smells a little funky out of the bottle, and when poured on ice definitely smells like cork and tastes awful, gross, and musty. How can vodka go bad? News to me.
The solution: head to the liquor store and pick up a small bottle of Grey Goose, just enough to get you drunk. Hopefully you'll be far gone enough to not notice the bad taste in the Belvedere when you drink it. Then you can use the Belvedere to put yourself over the top into rip-roaring, let's hit up Taco Bell for Fourth Meal and call my lousy ex who ran off with the stupid pool boy and took my rototiller with her, drunk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup. Spirits can be corked. It's often harder to spot corked spirits, because (as sure as it haunts Terry Theise's sleep) TCA expresses more forcefully in a lower-alcohol solution. I've only had one surely-corked spirit, a Matusalem rum several years ago. But it can absolutely happen.

I find it hard for brettanomyces to live well in spirits, though, because of the alcohol concentration and the lack of an useful, moderately acidic environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brett (Brettanomyces) and Trichloroanisole (TCA - the cause of wine being 'corked') are two completely different things.

You are indeed correct. I've been lucky enough to not experience either (that I know of) so mixed them up in my head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Then you can use the Belvedere to put yourself over the top into rip-roaring, let's hit up Taco Bell for Fourth Meal and call my lousy ex who ran off with the stupid pool boy and took my rototiller with her, drunk.
Thanks for the speedy replies, guys. Dan, first time I had ever heard of a "rototiller," had to google it. As for drunk dialing, that is a thread of a different colour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still unclear sometimes on what's ok and what's not with returning corked bottles. Here's the situation: wine bought at a Whole Foods not in this area, was a closeout (so probably not carried anymore), purchased about two years ago, can't remember what I paid (no receipt). Corked.

Accept it as a loss (too long ago, no proof I bought it at WF), or attempt to return to local Whole Foods (I'd feel like they'd think I was some jackass trying to pull something)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still unclear sometimes on what's ok and what's not with returning corked bottles. Here's the situation: wine bought at a Whole Foods not in this area, was a closeout (so probably not carried anymore), purchased about two years ago, can't remember what I paid (no receipt). Corked.

Accept it as a loss (too long ago, no proof I bought it at WF), or attempt to return to local Whole Foods (I'd feel like they'd think I was some jackass trying to pull something)?

for an inexpensive bottle purchased a couple of years ago, i might not bother. i have had corked bottles from whole foods and have returned them, but it felt like a bother even though they are just down the street.

however, you shouldn't expect to be treated like a jackass. i have been treated like a jackass there before, but that's because i was probably behaving like one. if the bottle is defective, they should refund your money without much of a hassle, even if they have to trust your memory of what you paid for it.

i can't predict what will happen, they may not like it that you purchased the bottle in another area, that you don't have a receipt, that it's not in their database, that you may not have stored it correctly, etc. but i would say it is definitely ok to return with the bottle, explain the situation and ask for a refund. what's the worst that can happen?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At a dinner party tonight the hosts opened a double magnum of Quintessa [something red]. Apparently this is a $1000 bottle of wine? I was excited to try it, and it tasted terrible. The hosts weren't drinking, so I guess they didn't realize. The guests were all too polite to say anything. I actually wondered if I could get away with pouring the wine in my glass down a sink when no one was looking. I don't know if it was corked -- from what I've read about what corked red wine tastes like I don't think so -- but it tasted vinegary, which I assume is not how it's supposed to taste. The hosts are wealthy and seem to like buying expensive things, but they're not wine people, so I wonder if the bottle wasn't stored correctly. What a waste.

When I got home I had a glass of Menage a Trois red blend -- $9 at Costco -- that tasted much better!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, dracisk said:

At a dinner party tonight the hosts opened a double magnum of Quintessa [something red]. Apparently this is a $1000 bottle of wine? I was excited to try it, and it tasted terrible. The hosts weren't drinking, so I guess they didn't realize. The guests were all too polite to say anything. I actually wondered if I could get away with pouring the wine in my glass down a sink when no one was looking. I don't know if it was corked -- from what I've read about what corked red wine tastes like I don't think so -- but it tasted vinegary, which I assume is not how it's supposed to taste. The hosts are wealthy and seem to like buying expensive things, but they're not wine people, so I wonder if the bottle wasn't stored correctly. What a waste.

When I got home I had a glass of Menage a Trois red blend -- $9 at Costco -- that tasted much better!

If it tasted like vinegar, it was probably oxidized or heat damaged; when a wine is "corked," it smells like your grandma's musty attic.

What year was this wine? Quintessa isn't *that* expensive where a double-double bottle (four bottles) would cost $1,000, unless it was from a rare and "prized" vintage. 

Two people can taste the exact same wine - one can love it, and the other can hate it (refer to me, Mark Kuller, and Australian Shiraz). I was once given a bottle of Sine Qua Non for being the sommelier at a Citizen private dinner - I never bothered to go pick it up.

However, when the word "vinegar" comes into the conversation, it's more than just personal preference; that's a flawed wine by any relative perception.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mark Slater said:

It could also be volatile acidity.

You need to explain that so laymen can understand it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, DonRocks said:

You need to explain that so laymen can understand it.

Volatile acidity (VA) is a measure of the wine's volatile (or gaseous) acids. The primary volatile acid in wine is acetic acid, which is also the primary acid associated with the smell and taste of vinegar.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mark Slater said:

Volatile acidity (VA) is a measure of the wine's volatile (or gaseous) acids. The primary volatile acid in wine is acetic acid, which is also the primary acid associated with the smell and taste of vinegar.

Another way I've heard it described is that volatile acidity is acidity that you can smell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, DonRocks said:

What year was this wine? Quintessa isn't *that* expensive where a double-double bottle (four bottles) would cost $1,000, unless it was from a rare and "prized" vintage. 

I'm not sure. I thought they said 1984, but I could be wrong about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, dracisk said:

I'm not sure. I thought they said 1984, but I could be wrong about that.

1984 was a stellar vintage in Napa Valley. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...