Italian Wine News


The Wine Industry Attack On TCA
Loris Scagliarini – May 9, 2005

Cork stopperLately there has been great news for wine buffs who love corks, and can't seem to let go of that traditional method in favor of different kind of stoppers.

From Portugal's non-profit cork research institute CTCOR, comes the news that the organization researchers have discovered an undisclosed substance that, when added to the bark of the cork tree while it is being boiled, the resulting cork develops harmless microorganisms that inhibit the formation of TCA.

The process, called 'Symbios,' was developed by the institute over the past four years and was tested industrially with success in August 2004.

"Instead of trying to eliminate TCA once it has been formed, as some curative processes do, we have tried to avoid its formation," said CTCOR director, Alzira Quintanilha.

The second piece of news come from France, where scientist Gérard Michel, a biochemist from the Burgundy region, has produced a kit that costs €40 (see up-to-date value in other currencies) which is said to restore the original taste and bouquet to a corked wine.

The kit, called Dream Taste, is the result of over 25 years of research and has already won over some of France’s most exacting critics. The answer to the longstanding problem of 'corked' wine, said Michel, is a copolymer, a material that draws out TCA molecules from tainted wine restoring its original characteristics.

"The experience is surprising. Little by little, the taster perceives an extraordinary evolution in the wine. Its normal characteristics reappear," said Laure Gasparatto, wine critic with Le Figaro newspaper.

According to different sources, between 5 and 7 percent of all bottles of wine are thought to be contaminated by TCA (the molecule 2,4,6 trichloroanisole), which is found in some corks. This molecule imparts to the wine the infamous, rotten taste and noxious smell. Such wine is then said to be 'corked'.

The wine found to be polluted every year is valued at about €500 million of wine (see up-to-date value in other currencies). That's a whole lot of money poured down the sink.

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