Published today in Wines & Vines is an article citing that cork closure creates less pollution than any other closure type including screwcap. Cork led in six of seven categories; and the categories are:
1) Energy consumption
2) Water consumption
3) Greenhouse gases emissions
4) Atmospheric acidification
5) Contribution to the formation of photochemical oxidants
6) Contribution to eutrophication
7) Solid waste production
The only category where cork did not excel was water consumption. Cork has had a bad rap for over a decade and unnecessarily so. I have read of cork failure at 10%–a 10% failure rate is greatly exaggerated. I have experienced less than a 1% failure rate.
And cork for me gives me the assurance of purity of flavor; I am not the only one with a sensitive palette that notes the synthetic cork and how this does have a profound touch on the wine it is protecting.
Though this study is one step to getting back to cork; I do think it will take more awareness to bring this back to the center point it has been as the dominate closure. The deciding factor will not be the environment; unfortunately, as long as other closures are less expensive it will be hard to stem that tide. Given our hyper awareness of environmental issues and coupling a preference for cork can bring this closure back to it lauded position.
I know that cork is for me and the wine bottles that I possess.
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