Here's what actually happened last week, when I was served a corked bottle of Boutari Moschofilero 2012 at a taverna in Thessaloniki, Greece:
I drank it. I drank 2/3 of a bottle of it.
I didn't stop at 2/3 of a bottle because the taste of TCA had become unbearable. I stopped because I was tired and that was all I could drink.
Why didn't I send it back?
I won't say the wine tasted "perfectly good." I had had the brand before, but not that vintage, and thought to myself, "Isn't this usually more aromatic?" It was lean and lemony and had very little aroma.
|This bottle was not corked|
I guess I can thank TCA for that. A few days later I tried another bottle of Boutari Moschofilero 2012 with the winemaker, and it was very different: floral, expressive, lighter mouthfeel. As soon as I smelled it, I realized the first bottle had been corked.
But I'm not going to go back and retroactively dislike the corked bottle. I drank it and enjoyed it. I didn't smell damp basement or moldy newspaper or wet dog or any of the other aromas expected to be produced by cork taint. The TCA suppressed the natural aromas of the wine, which I suspected, but not enough to make a stand on, as it was still quite drinkable.
I wonder how many people every day drink corked wine and enjoy it?
Moreover, I wonder if I enjoyed it more because I couldn't be sure about the TCA. What if I was? What if I insisted the wine was corked, but the taverna manager said, "This doesn't smell bad to me." The Moschofilero cost me less than $20 US. I had that confrontation in French Polynesia last year over a more expensive Chablis when I felt much more confident in my diagnosis, and it added tension to the meal.
I wonder how many people every day drink corked wine and don't enjoy it, but don't say anything because the conflict isn't worth it?
There's no sense in taking back past pleasure, but I do wonder how many other corked wines I've enjoyed. I think I'd rather not know.