Wine Corks…coming to an end?
I was out to dinner with my husband the other night, and while we were waiting for our friends to join us, the owner stopped by our table and suggested we may like a red wine he had recently enjoyed. The wine was Inkblot Cabernet Franc, a big bold wine, which we tasted and chose to accompany our dinner.
I asked the owner what he does with his wine corks, as I am a big fan of recycling wine corks. My current project is using them to make beautiful Christmas ornaments. And I particularly love the red wine corks due to the rich shades of red they stain the corks. The color adds character to my creations! He said he would ask the bartender to save them for me and see if they had any already from the night.
As we finished our evening out with our friends, I asked the owner if he had found any wine corks. Regrettably, he replied that all of the wine that evening had either metal screw tops or synthetic corks. He recanted how a visit from a wine salesman revealed that even the very high end wines are moving toward screw tops. His deduction was that in the very near future, most wineries will use screw tops and abandon the traditional corks all together.
As a wine cork fanatic, this was upsetting news to me! I have been saving and upcycling wine corks for a few years now. I’ve made the Christmas ornaments, some votive candle holders, key chains, and several unfinished projects my daughter and I started, which are somewhere in my storage unit in Mississippi, waiting for us to come back to them and give them new life!
I came home and did some research on the whole wine cork topic. I do understand that wine companies like the screw tops because it hugely cuts down on the possibility of moisture or air getting to the wine and ruining it, as well as being more cost effective to make. Same thing for the synthetic corks. And businesses are in the business of making money, so any improvement in profit loss is a plus for them. However, I am a wine romantic and an avid environmentalist. I love the fun of creating wine cork crafts, and besides, I think they are chic, cool, and pretty! Cork is a renewable resource. The cork is harvested from trees, but the trees are never cut down. The cork is harvested as the bark of trees. The use of traditional corks, then is a sustainable, respectable environmental solution for wine bottles.
I have been enjoying wine for many years. I have to say it’s one of my passions in life! And in all of my experience with wine purchases, I can remember only one time that I found myself with a soured bottle of wine. So, it seems to me like wine spoilage isn’t that big of an issue. So, to the wine makers out there, I say, “Please keep using traditional corks in your wine bottles!!” And as long as they keep making them, I’ll keep saving them and finding cool and cute uses for them!!