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December 14, 2009


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I'm interested in trying some Long Island wines and thank you for the post about the Roanoke.

TCA is a funny thing. It's one of the more potent aroma chemicals out there (detected around parts per trillion) but we also get used to it very quickly.

It's more likely that your nose got accustomed to (suppressed) the aroma of TCA as you swirled. Unlike hydrogen sulfide, which is very volatile, TCA is difficult to have "blow off".

My solution: smell the heck out of the wine after opening, then enjoy. You may get some more TCA on the palate (warming it up will release more). Or you could try my Saran wrap trick...

Anecdote: In my wine faults practical in Gavin's class, TCA was one of the spikes and it was probably spiked up around 1 ppb (unmistakeable). The whole basement of Stocking Hall smelled like cork taint, but after spending a while in the practice area I had a hard time telling between the spiked and unspiked TCA wines. Pretty much everyone's nose had adjusted to the TCA in the air. Luckily, when I took the test, it was in a different room and I had some time to readjust.

Trying to enjoy a wine's natural bouquet through faint cork taint is like trying to listen to a symphony with a neighbor's cell phone ringing incessantly.

Kareem -

Brevity is the soul of wit. Why do we not get to enjoy more of your comments on this blog? Keep it coming!

Kareem makes a great point. Even if it's not detectable as cork taint, a little bit of TCA can suppress fruit... which is why many winemakers are starting to avoid cork altogether.

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