April 2013

Got Cork?

by Stuart Harrison on April 21, 2013

There’s a lot of controversy today about what closures are best for fine wine. The supremacy of cork has been challenged recently by plastic look-alikes and now even screw caps.

Admittedly, cork has issues. There’s a nasty bacteria which is occasionally present in cork which can produce off flavors in a wine. It’s a subject of much debate just how often this bacteria ‘taints’ a bottle of wine. To confuse matters further, the off-flavors associated with ‘TCA’ are perceptible to different people at different levels (measured in ‘parts per million’). There’s not a serious wine consumer alive who hasn’t been disappointed by an obviously corked wine. Those who are particularly sensitive to the smell and taste of TCA are disappointed more regularly.

For wines like Trivium, however, I’m a strong advocate of (quality) cork. Aging issues aside, wine is a beverage of tradition and hand crafted red wines top the list. Somehow, pulling a wine out of the cellar or consuming it for a special occasion demands more than a screw-cap. And to me a plastic cork for a quality red is like a Rolls Royce with vinyl seat covers! There’s something that just doesn’t fit. I’ll take my chances on the statistically rare instance of cork taint, while enjoying all the traditional trappings which make wine such a thoroughly distinctive beverage.

Stu Harrison, partner

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