Why does my wine smell like my basement?

11 Aug

2006 Château de Surville Prestige, Costières de Nîmes, Rhône Valley, France $18.95 LCBO #078766

It’s the classic wine nightmare. You are out for a nice dinner and the bottle of wine that you just ordered arrives at your table. The sommelier pops the corks and pours you a taste. Just your luck, it smells like wet cardboard and tastes like what you would imagine a radial tire would taste like. I hate to say it, but many of us would probably just suck it up and drink it.

The reality is that the wine is “corked”. When a wine is “corked”, it essentially has been spoiled by a microscopic bacteria found in tainted cork that kills the fruitiness of the wine and replaces it with a musty odour and off flavours. The generally held rule of thumb is that one out of every 50 bottles of wine is “corked”. If you think about it, that’s quite a high percentage.

So why the long explanation? Well, when I tasted this week’s wine the first bottle was terribly “corked”! If this happens to you, I would jam the cork back into the bottle and take it back to the LCBO. They will be happy to replace it for you (or refund you). That is exactly what I did, and the second bottle of Château de Surville Prestige was much better.

This wine from France’s Rhône Valley has flavours of blackberries, black pepper, and cedar. It would go great with roast chicken or lamb chops. At $18.95, the Château de Surville Prestige is a quality wine that I hope you check out…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think

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Posted by on August 11, 2008 in France, Red Wine, Syrah


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