Restaurateur and host of the popular PBS TV show Eat! Drink! Italy!, www.victorrallo.com
A cork was a living organism that in its second life allows wine to live and breathe like no other closure. I firmly believe that a wine bottle with a cork is superior to a bottle with any other closure. Recently I did a test with an Italian 2001 DOCG wine that is required to have a natural cork. I opened the same vintage that had been closed with glass as a test for the consorzio. The glass enclosed bottle tasted as if it was bottled yesterday – young, austere, green and in my eyes undrinkable. The 2001 with the natural cork aged as every great wine should. Although I believe this wine had 5-7 great years left, it was drinking perfectly. It was round, elegant and smooth. So yes, the cork matters.