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Dr. Schmitt is the director of the Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture, Würzburg - Veitshöchheim. The following article is an excerpt from his book "Das neue Buch vom Frankenwein" (1997 Echter Verlag Würzburg) and is published here with the kind permission of the publisher and author.

Almost every wine lover has encountered it: the annoying cork spirit, which can so abruptly end the joy of enjoying wine. Its occurrence is all the more annoying the more valuable the bottle contents in question are. The stopper made of natural cork is considered a sign of a good wine. Nevertheless, it is not the ideal bottle stopper; regularly it even contributes to spoiling the wine that it is supposed to preserve in the bottle: namely by the "cork taste".