A wine that is corked imparts a dull, musty, moldy, wet-cardboard-like smell and taste. If you drink a lot of wine, there's a good chance you've encountered this, since it's not all that rare (about three out of every 100 bottles, or so say those who keep track of such things). It's not unhealthy, but a corked wine is certainly unpalatable. The culprit is trichloroanisole, a mold caused by the improper use of chlorine on cork bark or wood (and is yet another argument for plastic corks). A little-known fact: the life span of a healthy cork is about 20 years; after that, a bottle needs to be recorked.