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Will I ruin my wine by reusing corks removed from other wine bottles with a corkscrew?

TroubleShooting

A

Reusing corks?
Will I ruin my wine by reusing corks removed from other wine bottles
with a corkscrew?
Jim Small
Sultan, Washington


There’s a simple answer to this question — you just might ruin your wine by re-using corks. Corks are challenged already as they are a plug of natural tree bark, full of microbes that are impossible to sterilize away and nooks and crannies within which said microbes like to hide. Corks can carry molds that, when in contact with chlorine molecules, can create the nasty, swampy “corked” aroma 2,4,6-tricholoranisole. Corks also, especially older dried out ones, can leak, allowing wine out or air in. So I have to ask, why would you make an already-imperfect closure even less perfect by putting a hole in it with your corkscrew? As you can tell by my response, my answer would be: don’t do it. I certainly wouldn’t want to risk compromising one of my hard-won bottles of wine by sealing it with an already-unscrewed cork. In real life, I’m a big fan of screw caps.