Article

Closures: Wine Kits

I recently had the opportunity to visit Portugal, magical land of Mateus, Port and home of 80% of the world’s cork supply. While it was a pleasure trip, I had time to visit cork forests, cork factories, Port lodges and the vineyards of the Douro and upper Douro — pleasure is my business, after all. And it was a very timely visit. The ongoing debate about which closure is best is about to heat up — and like a lot of hot things, it’s going to throw off sparks. In the last twenty years natural corks have lost a significant percentage of their market share to other wine bottle closures. How did natural corks come to this? To make a long, complex story short, wineries got fed up with the product losses associated with cork taint, and for many years the producers of natural and engineered cork products didn’t display much interest in their concerns. Cork taint is the stinky, unpleasant effect of, 4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) on wine. It happens when a naturally occurring fungus found both in the air and