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May 7, 2007 09:07 AM

saran wrap and corked wine

i just read that you can uncork corked wine by decanting into a carafe with a coupla three 'balls of saran wrap and then vigorously shaking.

can this possibly be true?

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  1. Some say it works, most say it is bunk. But if you want wine that tastes of saran wrap . . .

    1 Reply
    1. re: dinwiddie

      saran wrap is tasteless - or should be anyway.

    2. Yes, though it's not 100% effective and won't restore a corked wine to what it would have been were it not corked. And the plastic doesn't have to be Saran Wrap -- any polyethylene bag or wrap will do. And vigorous shaking isn't necessary. And the wine doesn't have to be decanted, though decanting makes it easier to retrieve the plastic.

      1. There is something in the polyethylene that binds up the 2,4,6-trichloranisole and, thus, removes it from the wine.

        I would NOT SHAKE the wine -- you'll only introduce excessive amounts of oxygen in the wine. You need one piece of plastic wrap, and either push it inside the bottle -- leave overnight -- or decant it (carswell is correct; it *is* easier to remove it if you decant it, but it's not necessary).

        1. When this thread appeared on some years ago, I snickered, but some were pretty serious about it. Just so happens that I opened a mildly-corked Cal-Chard, while reading that thread. I grabbe the Saran Wrap and lined a funnel, pouring the wine slowly into another vessel. "Hm-m," thought, "a bit of a change for the better." I discussed this little, non-controlled experiment (I was, however, familiar with that wine), on the board. The suggestion was made, that I had not exposed the wine to the plastic long enough, so I sampled, then wadded up the plastic, placing it into the wine for the night. Next evening the wine was better, as far as the TCA was concerned. It was not gone completely, but better. Now, the wine was no where close to what I expected from it, only somewhat freed of the TCA taint. Damage had been done. The wine was now, at least, drinkable, but I would just return it (if possible) in the future and not go the Saran Wrap. My snickering died out to the sound of Saran Wrap being crinkled...


          1. The aroma/flavor is still "scalped", but the TCA is gone. I've found it works best with sturdy wines like vintage port or German riesling, that can handle being open and exposed to oxygen long enough for the process to work (e.g., overnight in the fridge). I push it into the bottle with a chopstick. The wine will be drinkable or you can salvage it for cooking.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Melanie, to work with your last sentence: have you ever cooked with "corked" wine? I have not, and have never considered doing so, but, others have indicated that the TCA does not affect the food, in which the wine is used for cooking. Another reason that I ask is because of one of my few "run-ins" with a sommelier. When rejecting a btl. of Red Shoulders Ranch Chard, the sommelier asked what I wanted him to do with the wine. My reply was to just replace it with an uncorked bottle. He then stated, for all of the restaurant to hear, " if that's the case, the chef will just cook with it." I was agast, but others have indicated that the heat renders the wine fine for cooking. Any experience? I just schlep it back and ask for a replacement - two in the last two weeks, but that is life, and I have never had a retailer, who refused, or even hesitated. Usually, I have to ask them to get off their knees and quit apologizing, as "it happens."

              Just curious,

              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Sue Courtney, the owner of the New Zealand Wine of the Week website, reports that TCA disappears when cooked. Have never been able to bring myself to test her thesis; like you, I tend to return the bottle.

                1. re: carswell

                  I've not tried cooking with a TCA-affected bottle. Can't stand pulling out the stopper and having the smell in the house, even for a moment. But I have heard from some friends who keep a vinegar barrel that the corkiness disappears in the process. Don't know.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I once made the mistake of popping a bottle and pouring it directly in a hot pan to deglaze, I tasted my sauce to test for seasoning and my sauce was corked! It was awful and no amount of cooking could get rid of it. Never again will I cook with a wine I have not tasted first. Always return the bottle, the retailer can then return it so they are not out anything.....they along with the winery should want you to have the best that bottle has to offer.

                  2. re: Bill Hunt

                    The TCA disappears when cooked, at least in my experience.

                    I had a bottle of 2002 J.J. Confuron NSG, 'les fleuriers' a while back that was corked and I couldn't return it.

                    Made a beautiful Coq au Vin though.

                    1. re: Cancuk

                      Perhaps you personally don't notice it in cooked dishes, but TCA certainly does not disappear when you cook wine. In fact, 2,4,6-trichloroanisole has a higher boiling point than water, so you're far more likely to concentrate the corked flavor when cooking wine down.