5 preconceived ideas about cork closures

Everyone is familiar with cork closures. However, despite their many qualities, they suffer from a number of preconceived ideas. To separate true from false, we answer all the misconceptions commonly encountered in relation to cork closures.

Cork closures are harmful to the environment


Contrary to what one might think, cork is part of a sustainable approach to development.

When cork is harvested, the cork oaks are not felled. In fact, the lifespan of the trees is particularly long as cork is only removed every nine years and the core of the tree is not affected.

Also, cork oaks that are harvested have a high CO2 absorption capacity which allows them to regenerate cork through photosynthesis. The forests absorb two to four times more CO2 than unexploited cork forests.

Lastly, cork closures are 100% recyclable.

Cork closures are impermeable


Cork closures are completely liquid-tight, but permeable to air.

Their intrinsic make-up allows a small amount of oxygen to pass through. This transfer of gas helps the wine to mature harmoniously over time.

Cork closures are costly

It all depends on the type of cork closure. The choice of cork closure depends mainly on the wine to be bottled (still wine, age-worthy or early-drinking, sparkling or fortified).

Cork closures give the wine a particular flavour

Is the famous “cork taint” fact or fiction?

The term refers to a smell reminiscent of mould when opening a bottle of wine.

However, the cork closure is not necessarily responsible for a corked wine. Bottling and storage conditions must also be inspected to ascertain the source of contamination.

Also, the possible presence of the molecule producing the off-taste (2,4,6 Trichloroanisole) is significantly less common today. This is due to the professionalisation and increased control of the manufacturing processes.

Cork closures are outdated


Are cork closures old-fashioned, or archaic even? The answer is patently no.

Cork closures are favoured by 83% of wine consumers in France. They are even considered as a guarantee of quality by 87% of consumers.

This type of closure is admittedly traditional but also modern, and is an integral part of the image of the wine it accompanies.

Some preconceived ideas about cork closures live on. However, there is no denying that cork closures are environmentally-friendly, a successful ally of wine over time and an endorsement of quality from a consumer perspective.