A Guide to Wine Faults – Trichloroanisole

Posted on by Kris

Wine meets sink.“Ermmmm excuse me, Garçon. This wine is bloody terrible!” – just doesn’t sit too well in most restaurants; therefore over the next couple of weeks I’m going to list some of the most common faults you may encounter on your travel through the wine-wonderland, as well as my suggested course of action should you stumble upon a “bad bottle”.

A lot of the time faults in wine go unnoticed, mainly because people just assume that’s just how the wine tastes, but unfortunately their perception of that brand is forever damaged. Faults in wine can be a major problem for winemakers, with most problems being attributed to the cork. Whilst a number of producers are working diligently to investigate the use of other closures, the humble cork isn’t always to blame!

It’s probably worth pointing out that I’d originally decided to write this all as one post, but it ended up being over 1400 words. I realize most people (in their average day) just don’t have that amount of time to devote to such a fairly dull topic, so I broke it up into easily digestible segments. You’re welcome!
And so let us begin with the first of the most common wine faults you may encounter…

Trichloroanisole: it smells like wet leaves....Trichloroanisole [Try-claw-row-ani-soul] (aka "TCA")

TCA is one of the most common faults in wine. Cork manufacturers use chlorine to sterilize wine corks, however if this process isn’t done correctly, it can lead to what we know as "cork tainted" or "corked" wines.
Different people have different sensitivities to TCA, but once you’ve been subjected to a few bottles that are affected by it, you can usually spot it just on the smell-alone. A number of cork manufacturers are now turning to peroxide bleaching in order to eliminate the problem of TCA.

How to tell if your wine is affected
The wine will smell significantly like moldy newspaper, wet leaves, or damp cloth, and the other aromas in the wine (i.e. the fruit) will be greatly reduced.   

Your course of action
If you’re sure the wine is corked, and it isn’t just a “funky-Old-World-wine”, explain to your Server (politely) that you think there’s a problem. State that you would like to send the wine back and exchange it for another bottle of the same.There’s no need to change your selection, because you still like the wine, it was just the TCA…..right?

Click here for the rest of my —-> A Guide to Wine Faults posts.

This entry was posted in Facts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.