How to Tell if Wine is Corked, Oxidized or Cooked
Watch out for flaws. If a wine doesn't taste good, there might actually be a problem with it.
CORKED A natural compound called TCA can taint corks, making wine smell like wet newspaper or a moldy basement.
OXIDIZED Faulty corks let too much oxygen into a bottle. White wines can end up tasting like apple cider or sherry; reds will often taste flavorless.
COOKED Bottles that have been improperly stored in a hot place for too long can taste stewed.