Wines are commonly aged in wooden barrels made from oak. It is known that the wooden barrel affects the flavor, aroma etc.

But, from online research, most sources state that the secondary aging done after bottling has more to do with breathability. In many cork vs screw-cap debates, the conclusion is that modern screw-caps have the same breathability as cork, so the wine should age at least as well as it would have with cork.

But, I have not seen anything mentioning the cork/wood actually changing the flavor/aroma, etc., just like as oak barrels do.

Is aging in-bottle affected by the cork in a manner other than breathability? Does the cork impart flavor, aroma, etc.?

1 Answer 1


A good cork doesn't alter the wine taste.

Here are some scenarios in which the cork can impact the taste of wine, all considered defects:

Cork Taint (TCA Contamination): This is the most well-known issue with corks, resulting in a musty, moldy, or wet cardboard-like aroma and flavor in the wine.

Oxidation: When the cork fails to create a proper seal, oxygen can enter the bottle, leading to premature aging and oxidation of the wine, resulting in a flat, stale taste.

Cork Drying Out: Over time, corks can dry out and shrink, allowing air to seep into the bottle, potentially leading to loss of freshness and changes in taste.

Cork Disintegration: In some cases, corks can disintegrate or crumble upon opening the bottle, causing cork particles to enter the wine.

Cork Leakage: Small gaps between the cork and the bottle neck can result in wine slowly leaking out, potentially altering the wine's concentration and taste.

Conglomerated Cork Glue Taste: Wines sealed with conglomerated corks can sometimes exhibit a glue-like or chemical taste or aroma, depending on the quality of the cork and the adhesive used.

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