Mold on OWC- is it OK to use?

Box smells musty and has mold embedded in top and bottom

Is it Safe to store the bottle in there? Just got delivery last week.

Too much of a risk to store it in there, even if it’s just a small risk. You might take some cleaner and see if you can remove the mold and then
thoroughly dry the wood box. IF all of the mold is gone after cleaning, with no smell, then you might be OK (emphasis on the term “might.”).


I would recommend a cleaner that is bleach-free or thoroughly rinsing any bleach from the box before setting it out to dry.

Take bottle out and put in cellar. Take OWC and put in fireplace. Sit by fire, enjoy fine glass of Burgundy.

Thanks all.

Going to take Tyler’s advise. Cant stand the smell at this point and with Bruce’s “might” qualifier, I’m not going to bother with the cleaning. Looks fairly embedded into the grain of the wood.

I wouldn’t worry. Is your concern that the mold will produce some by-product like TCA and that will become airborne, sneak under your capsules and embed itself into your corks? If TCA worked like that, a single corked bottle would infect an entire cellar.

That mold can be sanded off. The wood they use for those crates is cheap crap anyway and there’s no particular craftsmanship involved in production, so I usually burn them because it’s utterly fantastic kindling. But they’re also useful for storing gardening supplies, potting soil, small cans of paint, etc., and sometimes they get moldy from that stuff. It won’t affect your wine. And if it would, why wouldn’t your wine already be affected?

I also burn them, use them outside as small flower/herb planters (line with plastic prior to filling with potting soil, they’ll last longer), storage, etc.

This is not UC Davis approved

This is a picture from Bouchard’s cellars. I wouldn’t worry about a little mold on the box.

It’s a non issue for the wine. For your health, do what makes you feel comfortable. I’d let it be but if it causes you stress, why not eliminate it?

I love that sentiment, but my neighbor causes me stress. . .

For the folks that say “nuke from orbit”…what specifically are you concerned about? Genuinely unsure here.

My main concern would be spreading more mold.

Greg, it sounds like you need to start leaving moldy wine boxes at your neighbors front door.