Someone once told us that about one in ten bottles of wine in the LCBO were corked. Some of these wines gave off a distinct odour but in many cases mildly corked bottles simply spoiled the taste of the wine somewhat and it was hard to know whether the wine was just not very good or whether the cork was responsible. So you had to face the potential sneer of the waiter if you complained.
See this excellent article by Jancis Robinson on the state of the art.
She says that good screwtops are now designed as corks are to let In a bit of oxygen during the aging process. Moreover, some corks themselves are treated with carbon dioxide to remove “the undesirable volatile molecules that alter flavour”. One of these systems is the Diam French system which is guaranteed to remove 100% of such molecules.
This is an interesting but long article that is guaranteed to provide you with enough information to become a full-fledged cork bore if that appeals to you.
If you need something else to go on about, read another recent article by Jancis Robinson who discusses how champagne has changed. See this entitled “Shake-up for champagne – ‘Labels have a wealth of information, practically citing the colour of the maker’s socks’