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Green Corks

No, we’re not talking about green colored corks, but the fact that corks are more environmentally friendly (aka green) than alternative closures such as screwcaps and synthetics.  This makes sense when you think about where the products come from and how they are created (cork, screwcap, synthetic.)  For the details, the Price Waterhouse report is here: Cork Facts

In reading about this story I found myself on the Amorim cork website where there was (no surprise) many articles spouting the virtues of natural cork.  I readily admit, I do prefer/expect a cork finish for wines over $25 retail / to be aged 5+ years, but I also see many positive attributes in alternative closures.  It should not be a question of either/or …

On the Amorim website, I found this interesting press release, stating that a leading expert in the USA had declared TCA Taint Resolved and that natural corks have achieved a 99% performance rating.

I guess the bottles that we get in Los Angeles must be different???  In this week’s class Introduction to Wine @ UCLA Extension we had 1 corked bottle (TCA tainted) out of 18 bottles total.  There were 4 bottles under screwcap, so this is 1/14.  The price range of the wines was $14.99 – $67.99.  I estimate before this course is over (6 weeks, 100 bottles) we will come across another 2-3 corked bottles.  Subtract out the screwcaps and synthetics (30%) and we will have 4/70 bottles corked = 4 – 6% corked (TCA tainted) bottles.

I will keep track of the total number of corked bottles this quarter and comment on this post next month.  However, this number of 4 – 6% TCA taint is completely in line with the averages I see in my work, and through the wine courses I teach.  Yes, I think the incidence of TCA taint on the whole, has gone down over the last several years … but resolved to less than 1%?  I completely disagree with this statement.