I was looking forward to a wine last night, a dry Hungarian white. Opened it up, and immediately noticed the telltale musty aroma of a corked wine. Damn. My first TCA bottle of the year. I was hoping to get through at least this month without coming across one.
Cork taint is the result of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) in the wine. TCA occurs when airborne fungi permeate cork trees, and the resulting corks produced are not properly sterilized. Lazy cork making, in other words. A corked wine can show this flaw in many ways, but the most common are odours of mustiness, damp newspaper, moldy basement - you get the idea. In less obvious cases, the wine is dull, and lacking any sort of fruit. While TCA is harmless when ingested, it does ruin your wine experience.
LCBO's policy for cork taint is full refund. I'll test that later today, when I go to BV. Too many people mistake cork taint for a bad wine, but take notice - a corked wine is just a bad bottle, not a bad wine. If you notice these characteristics, make sure you return the bottle. Don't drink the wine, and think that the producer is shit. It's the cork's fault.