Latest Issue

Wine: Barry Smith

How to tell if wine is corked

By Barry Smith   November 2013

“Would you like to try the wine?” This seemingly innocent question from the waiter is an invitation for you to test whether the wine is fault free. But how can you tell? The most likely fault a wine might have is being corked, which tends to give it a damp, musty smell of wet cardboard. To be sure, ask to smell the cork itself, which is usually the best clue. But will you and the waiter agree about whether the offending odour is present? I’ve been given doubting looks on occasion, though good establishments will always give you the final…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect