Weekly Wine Quiz: Taint Too Good

Vinted on March 9, 2012 binned in wine appreciation, wine quiz

Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz!

Based on feedback from ever-so-vocal-and-intelligent peeps just like you, I do not supply the quiz answer directly in the post – you will need to tune back in later in the comments section for the answer. So you can put your answer in the comments for potential bragging rights later (not that you’d gloat… too much…).

This week we’re kicking off the next WWQ theme, which has to do with a geeky topic that we all hate to face as wine lovers but chances are we cannot, alas, entirely avoid: stinky wine faults. Sooner or later you’re going to run into one of these, so you might as well embrace the fact of the stank and know the enemy!

“Taint” Too Good

Sometimes good wines just go… bad! Meaning, of course, that chemical faults can often ruin an otherwise perfectly good bottle of vino. Do you know which chemical compound causes what is known as “cork taint?”

  • A. mercaptans
  • B. 2,4,6-trichloroanisole
  • C. Butyric acid
  • D. Sulfur Dioxide

Cheers – and good luck!





  • Amy

    B-also commonly known as TCA.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Amy. Official answer coming later…

  • masi3v

    I agree with Amy, for what it's worth…

    • 1WineDude

      :) Well there's no money involved, only bragging rights if you're correct…

  • Lisa

    I also agree with Amy – answer is B

  • @MDSmitty2488

    Everyone's got it right so far: B

  • TWG


    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, all!  Keep 'em coming!

  • Denise

    It's definitely B. 2,4,6-trichloroanisole. I worked a little bit with TCA and Cork Taint while I lived in Napa, and I think they were starting to find that TBA (the cousin to TCA) is actually more responsible for cork taint when it's wood/barrel affiliated as opposed to cork affiliated. I still think the old plastic wrap in the wine glass trick helps soak up the stuff… in case you ever get a bad bottle!

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Denise!

  • Jon Bjork

    But the answer is "B." Or should I act like I'm not sure… Uh, on second thought… Gee, maybe it's not B. Could it be something not even listed, like this is a trick question?!? :-) In any case, nothing that a balled-up sheet of Cling Wrap can't partially bring back to life, as Denise mentioned! (Oh, and a feature request, if you could have error messages show up in the center of a user's screen, that would really help. Right now they show up near your header where you can't see them unless you scroll up.)

    • 1WineDude

      Jon – thanks but yikes! What errors are you getting? It's been a week of technical difficulties here on 1WD I'm afraid (much to my chagrin) :-P. Cheers!

      • Jon Bjork

        Just the simple error of wanting to subscribe and forgetting to put my email address, and also trying to submit comment without being logged in anywhere. I know they are totally lame-o, but I was sitting in a stupor (as is usually the case for me) wondering why the site wasn't responding until I scrolled up to find the message. (Sorry for whining!)

        • 1WineDude

          Jon – ah, ok… will have to test that out. If it was through IntenseDebate, it was having MAJOR issues this past week, and effectively brought 1WD down for several minutes. And as an example of poor social media skills (that being the hot topic here this week :), I reached out to ID via twitter AND email about the issues and received ZILCH in reply. :-(

  • 1WineDude

    Alright, there's no fooling you people! This week's Wine Quiz Answer, is, indeed…

    B. 2,4,6-trichloroanisole

    Long the bane of natural cork producers and widely referred to as "cork taint," musty aromas in a wine often indicate the presence of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (infamously known as TCA, for short), which is usually (but not always!) transferred to the wine via the cork after the wine is made (hence the name).

    As some of you pointed out, there are remedies to try which can successfully remove some of the taint, but people have varying degrees of sensitivity to TCA & so some of those remedies may not work for everyone (as for me, alas, I'm relatively sensitive to TCA and so the Cling Wrap remedy is rarely successful enough to keep me from dumping a tainted bottle's contents into the sink :-).


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