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Burgundy boffin invents remedy for cork taint

A biochemist based in Burgundy has invented a kit that promises to remove cork taint from a contaminated bottle of wine in under one hour.

The kit, dubbed Dream Taste by its inventors – Professor Gérard Michel and Oenologist Laurent Villaume – will be on the shelves in France on 1 June at €40 (£27, US$51).

The system works by using an ionised material known as a copolymer to absorb the cork taint molecule (2,4,6-trichloroanisole, or TCA) in the wine. The affected wine is poured into a decanter and the copolymer – shaped like a bunch of grapes – is lowered into the wine and left until the taint disappears. Two single-use copolymers and one special decanter are included in the pack. The throw-away copolymers will be available for €5 each (just over £3, US$6).

According to its makers and independent tests, the kit works successfully on red, white and sparkling wines.

‘To get this result we conducted thousands of tests and we used oenologists trained to detect cork taint on the nose at a level of two nanogrammes,’ said Michel. The average taster can normally detect cork taint at around 3 or 4 nanograms per litre.

French newspaper Le Figaro performed its own tests with Dream Taste. A bottle of wine with 11 nanograms of TCA took one hour to lose its taint, both on the nose and on the palate.

Le Figaro also conducted the test on wine with a huge 21 nanograms of TCA. Dream Taste needed over 2 hours to expunge the taste of cork.

According to Embag, the company that makes Dream Taste, over 10,000 orders for the kit have already been placed, mainly from wine professionals and those in the wine trade.

Embag, based in Savigny-lès-Beaune, sells around 25m corks to the wine industry every year.

Written by Oliver Styles

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