Home | My Account | Customer Service |††Shopping Cart†Shopping Cart -†0†item(s)†/†Total: $0
Wine Openers
Wine Stoppers
Wine Charms
Aerators and Decanters
H&K Wine Caddies
Home Bar
Cork Cages
Wine Racks
Totes and Carriers
Chillers and Coolers
Wedding Favors & Gifts
Father's Day Gifts
Close Out Sale
Valentine's Day
Coupons & Deals
$0 - $24.99
$25 - $49.99
Over $50
Hand Blown Snowman and Christmas Stocking Christmas Ornament by Yurana Designs Hand Blown Snowman and Christmas Stocking Christmas Ornament by Yurana Designs
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Christmas Ornament by Yurana Designs
Hand Blown Mermaid Christmas Tree Ornament by Yurana Designs
Silver Flex-Seal Bottle Stopper from Franmara FR-8165-B

The History of Wine Corks

Posted by Taylor on 12/9/2013 to Wine Stoppers
A spongy material which comes from the bark of the Cork Tree, cork is what has traditionally been used to seal wine bottles. A limited number of cork trees have produced a shortage of cork, whereby man-made materials are now being increasingly used to make and replace cork.  Sadly, we may be looking at the end of cork as we know it.

Corks seem to have been around since the first wine, and there is evidence of 5th century Greeks using corks, followed by the Romans whose corks were sealed with pitch.  By medieval times, corks were replaced by twists of cloth or leather, and sometimes with sealing wax.  
The ability for cork to totally seal off wine depends on its having a snug fit into the bottle, and because of the properties of cork, the bottleís opening must be uniform in diameter.  It was the 17th century before the bottle making process had developed sufficiently to have uniform openings, which gave way to corkís proliferation as a wine sealant of choice.  It wasnít until 1722 that corkscrews were developed to open wine bottles.
The benefits of cork as a sealing device for wine bottles are numerous, making it the closure of preference for almost 300 years.  Cork possesses both pliability and prevention of leakage, kind of like elastic.
The bark of the Cork Oak Tree can be harvested every nine years and experiments to facilitate the growth of more Cork Oaks in North and South America, Russia and Japan have been unsuccessful.  It takes 25 years to get the trees to the point where they can be harvested, and unfortunately the first cork harvested is so irregular in size and density that it is not suitable for wine bottle sealing.  Itís not until the second harvest that the adequate wine cork is ready.
Over the years, the cork industry has experienced problems with quality control which have had to do with tainted corks and corks improperly sealing the bottles, which has led to the pursuit of finding an alternate sealing material for wine bottles.  Cellukork is now replacing corks on many mid-range wines, despite questions that remain with regard to how these synthetic corks will hold up and even affect the wines over time.  It could end up imparting flavors all its own, but for now, Cellukork is the forerunner for wine bottle stoppers.
The screw cap provides an excellent seal, however this type of cap has long been associated with inferior quality wines, and therefore may require some major revision before this type of closure is ever accepted by the public.
One thing about it...wineís here to stay, however we are about to experience a transition from corks to...something.  Itís just not clear yet what that will be.
Share |
Add Comment
Wine Essentials Blog

 Hosting a Wine Tasting
 Choosing a Wine Glass
 Wine Stoppers
 Aerating Wine
 Drink Responsibly
 Cool Wine Accessories
 Expert Reviews
 Wine Gifts
 Wine-Food Pairing
 Wine Tasting

 Vinho Verde
 Leitz Rieslings: Mineral Heaven for All!
 In Vino Veritas 2014. Vinho Verde!
 "First Time" Rioja for you!
  2011 Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells Merlot #nb-17-14

 December 2014
 October 2014
 May 2014
 April 2014
 March 2014
 February 2014
 January 2014
 December 2013
 October 2013
 July 2013
 June 2013
 May 2013
 April 2013
 March 2013
 February 2013
 January 2013
 December 2012
 November 2012
 July 2012
Visit us at www.WineEssentials.com