Question: Do you think it is necessary to examine the cork just extracted from your wine bottle?
Answer: Don’t think it is a question of necessity but believe it can be a useful aid. In this era of more screw-cap closures it may seem almost overly pretentious to wish to examine the cork. Not enough wine consumers are giving it attention. However it can supply some valuable clues about the wine itself that you are about to taste. First depending on the details marked on it there can be confirmation of the authenticity of the wine name, region, or vintage shown on the label. Secondly it can give you an indication of the material used from natural cork to innovative Diam types – plus the length and quality of the closure used. However most important is that it can give you a better indication of whether or not the wine might be “corked” with TCA – giving it that unattractive “moldy” notes. Depending on the amount of TCA taint this often shows up faster and more definitively by smelling the cork than by smelling and tasting the wine which may take longer to reveal this fault. I am a big fan of examination and cork sniffing!