Last week, Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine ran a featured story titled “CORK Through the Media’s Eyes: Have wine writers put a cork in their criticism of bark stoppers?” written by WineCurmudgeon.com’s Jeff Siegel.
The story (in which I’m briefly quoted) asks whether or not the natural cork stopper industry has reached the point in which cork taint is largely a thing of the past. I provide the role of “contrarian opinion” in that I still see the rate of cork taint as an issue with which the cork industry needs to more effectively deal.
I’ve got nothing against natural cork closures, mind you. In fact, I suppose that I prefer them in a nostalgic, “Django Reinhardt playing softly in the background while I retire into my brushed-canvas sage Pottery Barn love seat” kind of way. I have grown totally convinced that screwcap enclosures are totally sound for long-term storage of fine wines, and I sure as sh*t don’t like synthetic corks and wouldn’t trust them to keep a wine long-term any further than I could comfortably spit a rat (don’t visualize that if you can help it – nasty).
I think for me this is a problem of “once bitten, twice shy” in that I’ve encountered what I consider far too much cork taint-affected wines – while the percentage is tiny, it’s still too high; certainly higher than what we’d consider acceptable in other food-related products.
I’d love to hear your take on this – is cork taint going the way of the dinosaur? Or is it alive and (un)well in your cellar?
An interesting set of sample items found their way to my door recently. Not wine, but wood.
The wood (or rather what’s been done to the wood) is the brainchild of Brian Behncke, a construction company owner who is in the process of starting up a wood reuse company in San Diego. The idea is to reclaim cedar fencing wood that would otherwise be on its way to the Mira Mar landfill, and instead turn it into handmade, interesting but functional discussion pieces, with wine as one of the major themes.
According to Brian:
“Due to the cost of taking the nails out of the wood, it goes directly into the landfill. Although it takes a little more time to clean the wood up, we feel this is a small price to pay for keeping large quantities of useable wood out of the landfill. We know there is a more sustainable way to deal with the problem, and that is to repurpose it.”
Brian’s new endeavor, 8point8, is currently selling unique takes on wine storage, carrying cases, and other household items. The designs overall are functional, fun, and (at times) striking – especially the angled 3-bottle displays, which I personally found perfect for my leftover Madeira (see pic below – and yes, that is still the same Madeira from nearly two years ago – I told you, that stuff is indestructible!)…
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Here we go again!
TasteCamp East, the brainchild of New York Cork Report founder and fellow Steelers fan Lenn Thompson, is now in its second year and this weekend will be gathering together nearly 40 North American wine bloggers in New York’s Finger Lakes wine region for a few days of tasting, eating, and (probably) writing.
Last year’s inaugural TCE (held in Long Island) was by all accounts a success, especially in terms of exposing wine bloggers to the developing North American wine regions outside of California, Oregon and Washington.
The 2010 version has a promising list of wineries involved, and personally I’m excited to get back to the Lakes to see (and taste) how things are progressing there. I’m also working on a press junket that will take me back to the area in 2011, so I’m viewing TCE as an important milestone in covering and evaluating the Finger Lakes wine action.
Best of all will be hanging out with the great people that Lenn has assembled to participate, many of whom I consider friends and all of whom I respect as talented writers; for me that is, by far, the best thing about these gatherings, and I always come away from these events a bit awestruck at the collective talent, passion and brainpower that is being devoted to wine writing on the virtual pages of the blog-o-world.
It’s so easy for us to take that situation for granted, and events like TCE remind us just how lucky we are to be digging on wine in these changing (and exciting) times.
More to come, Lakeside…