- adjective used for describing wine that has an unpleasant sour taste because of a dirty or faulty cork
- adjective tasting of vinegar, because of a dirty or faulty cork
- used to describe wine that has been spoiled by a faulty or contaminated cork, resulting in a musty smell and a wine that can range from the slightly unpleasant to the undrinkable. This contamination is now thought to be largely caused by a chemical compound called trichloranisole (TCA), which is produced when microorganisms in the cork combine with chemicals used in the production process, e.g. the strong chlorine solution in which corks are usually bleached before use. Trichloranisole can be smelt even in minute quantities. Corked wine can also result if the cork does not provide an airtight seal or if the cork has a growth of mould on the base nearest the wine, when it will also smell musty. Faulty corks occur in new bottles of wine, but if a bottle of wine is stored upright for many years even a good cork can dry out and shrink slightly, breaking the airtight seal and leading to a corked wine. This is why wine should be stored horizontally or at an angle to ensure that the cork remains in contact with the wine and so does not dry out.