The Cork Debate
What is the perfect closure for wine? Ah, that's a question that will get people debating and defending their preferred choice in a skinny minute!
Cork- The classic closure which is harvested from the bark of a tree. It's been used for centuries. It's an excellent closure for wines you're looking to lay down and allow to age and change for a few years (or decades for some) as it allows a bit of oxygen in which is part of the aging process. Cork is a renewable resource and I'm told a cork forest is a beautiful thing (give me time, I'll find out for myself someday). However cork can carry a chemical that will destroy the wine in the bottle. A corked wine will normally have an off smell similar to wet newspapers. (I'll save all of the details for another day)
Vinolock- This is a glass stopper with a silicon ring. They are fun to pop open! We see these more on German wines but many are adapting this closure. It's a great seal for wines that are meant to be consumed young and don't need aging. I love these bottles because they are so reusable! The seal is fun, the bottles are often elegant and interesting which makes them a wonderful bottle to save for making vinegar, infused spirits or even storing your fresh batch of iced tea.
Stelvin Closure- Also known as a screw cap, this closure has really come into play over the last 20 years. There is a lot of technology and debate behind these closures. Stelvin closures really came to the forefront due to New Zealand's wine industry. New Zealand's wine industry is predominantly white wines that are meant to be consumed when they are young and fresh. Frustration on losing so much of their wines to cork taint led them to pioneer the screw caps. Oh, the push back from consumers was amazing! No one would believe that it was a good idea and acceptance was slow. Today you'll see the Stelvin closure on bottles from all over the world. Don't be afraid of them! The wine in them will be guaranteed free of cork taint and will taste as they did at the time of bottling.
Synthetic Closure- Synthetic corks are a plastic resin. You'll find these in less expensive wines that are not meant to age. They're a bit hard to pull out at times and it's been my experience that the closure does not last well in the cellar (I didn't cellar them on purpose, I set some that had synthetic corks on a rack in the basement and forgot about them. The wine didn't make it in the end so drink wines closed this way when you get them!)
I came across this recent blog post from Jordan Winery and wanted to share. https://blog.jordanwinery.com/2018/01/10-fun-facts-about-jordan-wine-corks/?utm_source=facebookpp&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=May+2018&utm_content=pp_1869739671
The cork in the bottle is something we rarely think about unless we're having a hard time getting it out. So much goes behind ensuring that the cork doesn't ruin the wine within. Not all wineries are so thorough!