Thursday July 27, 2006 7:54 pm
No More Corks
Opening a bottle of good wine with a corkscrew may soon be a thing of the past. Because of the shrinkage of acreage that grows cork trees, corks have become scarce and wine makers have sought alternative ways to seal wine.
First came the plastic corks that don’t crumble like the natural corks do when a corkscrew is applied to them. A number of American wineries that changed to plastic discovered a side benefit. They didn’t have to worry about “corking,” a contamination that sometimes occurs in wine when it is exposed to a bad cork. Sometimes, corks can contain bacteria that can spoil a wine. At other times, the cork just gets musty smelling or bits break off into the wine. These are two conditions that can make the wine not as pleasant to drink.
Recently, more wineries are actually sealing their bottles with screw tops. Though many wine aficionados turned their noses up at the thought, equating it with skid-row wines or fruity college beverages of the past, they soon found that screw tops actually kept even the finest wines at their peak. And, screw tops preserve leftover wine better in the fridge, without it going flat.
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