For the most part corked wine is irredeemable. That awful, musty, wet cardboard smell has destroyed yet another beautiful wine. But if the cork job isn't too bad, you can try something that seems (and is) antithetical to the spirit of fine wine.

I learned this trick from Larry Stone, master sommelier, GM of Napa's Rubicon Estate, and all-around wine know-it-all: take a decent-sized piece of Glad plastic wrap, wad it up and soak it in your wine glass for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

Evidently, Australian scientists realized that polyethylene somehow bonds with TCA (the molecule that creates corkiness) and removes it from the wine. It's not an elegant solution, but anything is better than excitedly opening a bottle of 1976 German Riesling, as we did the other night, and finding it violently corked. (Take note that only polyethylene works--plastic wraps not made of this substance will not be effective.)

As for the wine--it was marginally improved by its encounter with modern plastics, but still couldn't be saved. In this case, Glad wrap was not strong enough to defeat 31 years of cork attacking the wine. But there’s no harm in trying.