It happens – corks break and leave tiny bits of cork floating in the wine. But fear not, there is good news – cork bits don’t affect the flavor of wine, they are easy to remove, and knowing how to remove cork bits makes you look like a scholar/hero at a party!
First, let me emphasize that cork bits won’t affect the flavor of the wine (although drinking them is not fun – wine shouldn't be chunky). The wine has been in contact with the glass bottle and the cork for months, years, or decades (if you’re a high-roller), so touching smaller cork bits won’t change the flavor.
So how to remove the cork bits? The best way is to pour the wine through a filter into a clean and empty container (decanter, carafe, or pitcher). Filters designed specifically for wine do exist and are ideal, but not the only option. Any clean stainless steel or food-grade plastic filter or sieve with small openings will do. And if you don’t have a metal filter available, you can use an unbleached coffee filter. The problem with a coffee filter is that it may slightly change the wine’s flavor (or maybe just the aeration and extra contact with oxygen changes the flavor).
Now serve the wine from its new container, or pour it back into the bottle and serve from that. Cheers!
Do you want information about wine and food/wine pairings in your pocket? Check out the WineKick app -- a free app for iPhone that recommends a wine for a meal, gift, party, date, and more. The app says why that type of wine is a good match and provides background on the grape.