Ask Dr. Notebook

Q. Why is it that some wines smell as appealing as a barnyard? Is there nothing to be done?

A. The answer, like the odor, is in the cork. Wooden corks contain microbes that create unpleasant odors, but plastic corks are as classy as Dixie cups. The solution? Zap 'em. Researchers recently discovered that a specially designed microwave oven will kill the offending organisms, leaving corks odorless. Don't try this at home, however. These ovens will be incorporated into the wine-production process.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!