Wine: to cork, or not to cork
"It would be very useful to know when a wine is 'corked' – what to look out for, and when to send it back in a restaurant," wrote one reader recently.
Well, it's not always blindingly obvious. At a low level, it may just be a sense of flatness and lack of fruit, perhaps more noticeable in a wine with which you're familiar. At its worst, it smells downright mouldy. Some people are more susceptible than others to TCA, the chemical that causes cork taint, but if your waiter tells you loftily that there's nothing wrong with your wine, insist on having it replaced. (Before, rather than after, you've drunk it, of course.)