There has been a lot of talk in recent years about cork vs. synthetic cork vs. screw top lids and which of these is the ideal topper for bottles of wine. In the end, I personally don’t care much. I don’t age my wines well. No, no, I’m way too impatient so really all that matters to me is if the wine is good whenever I open it, be it a cork or something-that-resembles cork-topped bottle.
Does it matter? Maybe. Image source
But there are certainly folks out there who care very much about which tree bark is gracing the neck of their Zin. Well, we have some good news for you cork purists: cork may very well positively influence the maturation of wine.
According to Dr. Miguel Cabral, R&D Director for Amorim (the world’s biggest producer of cork products), phenolic compounds that are naturally present in cork stoppers can benefit the ageing of wine.
Uh, what are phenolic compounds? Great question. These are natural chemical compounds which affect the taste, color and mouthfeel of wine. So, basically, this good doctor’s research suggests that cork adds even more of these compounds into a wine. Dr. Cabral records that the reaction of the wine with the wood-sourced phenolics actually forms brand new compounds.
“Wine lies on side, wine touches cork. Can’t wait to taste these phenolic compounds!”
Could this be the beginning of the end for synthetic corks around the world? Or just a potential increase in cost for us wine-drinking commoners? Time will tell. Much more research is needed to make any solid conclusions about this research, but we love a good cork story when we hear one.
Keep on corkin’, doc! Let us know what you find out.
Recycle those corks! Learn about how you can be sustainable at home here.
–How do you feel about your wine toppers? Do you celebrate synthetic? Do you balk at fake bark? Let us know!