All About Cork

Dustin Mowe of Portocork with Stacks of Cork Ready for Processing

Cork has taking a beating as of late – but it’s fighting back. Dustin Mowe of Portocork America joins us to champion the cause of cork as wines premier stopper – Past and Present.

Learn about the source of cork, its advanced manufacturing process, and the issues it faces today.

Sponsor: Your best source for corporate communications: SNP Communications

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Show #26
(18:13 min 8 MB)

Click Here: All Corked Up

The process of making cork:






9 Responses to “All About Cork”

  1. 1 Dan Jacobs May 23rd, 2005 at 8:47 am

    Great show, love hearing about the way cork is made. Sounds like a lot more work then I had thought. I still like natural cork over the new stuff.


  2. 2 Tim Rowlings May 23rd, 2005 at 2:54 pm

    This whole bad cork thing is killing me. The show was great but I have been getting screwed by corked bottles as of late. I think I have had 3 bad bottles in the last 12.

    I can’t take it anymore. These things are expensive.

    Sounds like Portocork is doing it right but how do I know where these winemakers are getting their cork from. Cheap bastards. Spend a buck and get good cork. They have no problem charging $50+ per bottle. Tim R.

  3. 3 Doug Johnson May 23rd, 2005 at 5:54 pm

    This show makes me more confident that natural cork is the way to go. I have had a few bad bottles in my day but that goes with the territory. Cork is the best solution. Who wants to open a $100 bottle with a screw cap. Hey if you are going that route why not just put a beer cap on it.

    All the Best

  4. 4 John Thompson May 24th, 2005 at 2:01 pm

    Guys, I have think cork is fine. I can live with the risk of a few bad bottles here and there, most of the wine I buy is consumed within a year. Screw cap is fine with me. Sounds like it will no make much difference unless I am aging my wine for several years. Dont need to do it since most of my wines are calif Pinots and simple cabs. Not going to get a lot better.

  5. 5 David Williams May 26th, 2005 at 10:28 am

    About five years ago I sent the Titan Corp. an email about using their SureBeam, an electronic pasteurization system, to sterlize cork. I, of course, never received a response. I still think it’s worth looking into. I don’t know if it would work but if it can be used for meat it should work for cork. One of the things it works best for is uniformly sized items–like ground beef or slabs of cork. Even if someone has an unfounded superstition about its use in meat there should be no fear with cork.

  6. 6 Brian Clark May 27th, 2005 at 1:38 pm

    I tend to like the natural cork as well. I don’t get that many corked bottles (But it really stinks when I do) Maybe 1 out of 12.

    That being said I really don’t have any problem with screw caps especially on wines I am planning on drinking within a year. It’s not going to hurt the wine in that short period of time.

    Brian Clark

  7. 7 Robert Jan 8th, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    Dustin is right on! I am asked quite often about the screwcaps and this is what I tell them. Two years ago I could choose twelve random bottles off the shelf in the store where I work and two would show evidence of TCA. Today when I choose twelve random bottles I might get one. Also I have tasted at least ten different brands of wine that were bottled in both screwcap and natural cork closure. So for young bright whites I prefer the screwcap and some young reds are slightly more pleasing;however, when I re-taste after a year more of bottle aging after release, I have chosen the cork closure everytime. Because for me the texture that develops in the wine is more pleasing and out weighs the bright fruit factor of screwcap closure. My question is what caused the surge in incidence of TCA in recent years. From 1980-1995 I might have discovered 5-10 bottles of wine tainted by cork or? After 1995 bad wines started becoming more prevalent. Is this because the molds that causes TCA have become more rampant or was it the increased usage of chlorine based products?

  8. 8 Frank Yourek Dec 24th, 2006 at 2:26 am

    Dear Jay, I have many thots on this, but to put it in a nutshell for any winemakers reading this, I hate screwtops, and would never willingly buy anybody’s wine that does not use real cork. And I buy a lot of expensive wine. Can anyone reading this imagine a 10 year old exquisite, high end Pinot Noir/Burgundy wine with a screw cap? In YOUR cellar? Give me a break! It will be full of poison from the plastic cap lining that touches the wine, could never breathe and age properly. It is only good for Swill Wine meant to be drunk now, by people who care not for their health or palate. Perhaps the new class glass “corks” could work for a wine meant to be drunk within a few weeks of being made. I have never tried those, so I reserve my judgement. But for the magic and ecstasy and vibrations of wine to travel from the grapes to my palate……….well, only real cork can do the job. Even at $1 extra per bottle it is worth it. Glue in “particle board” corks made from little tiny pieces of cork, the aforementioned abhorrant screw caps—NO, NO, NO, please don’t do this to us! I have wine in my cellar going on 4 decades old that only a few bottles of same exist in the world. A screw cap……………and it would be undrinkable today. DRC, the Holy Grail of Burgundy…………biodynamically farmed, lovingly pruned, real cork…………….wild guess, $1,000 a bottle and up? Never tried it, but here in Santa Barbara, in the Santa Rita Hills and surrounding areas, such wines are “a’borning”……….and they use real cork. Those that do not will never reach $1,000 a bottle in 10 years like the Clos Pepes, the Sea Smokes, the Ojai Vineyards, and oh so many more, like Aubert, etc…………I could go on and on, but there is NO FUTURE for screwtops and the BEST WINE period! I know I might take some flack for being so emotional and direct, but best guess, over 90% of all who read this will agree with me! Thanks for the chance to share these thots. I truly honor your Grape Radio website for these discussions to occur. We all profit greatly from them. Cheers!

  9. 9 Neal Clark Jun 9th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Sorry that this comment is 3 years late as I just listened to the podcast, but I have to agree with the comment of how would we as consumers know which cork supplier the winery is using for their cork? I work for a major food company and I would think that Portocork could start branding their process that removes TCA from the cork and have the winery put that on the label or at least on their website so that we as consumers would have the piece of mind to know that we have less of a chance of getting TCA from their products. I know that co-branding can help consumers understand what they are getting and if the education is out there about Portocorks process, then it will grow with popularity and also price point differentation.

    Just my Thoughts,


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