Myths and Facts about Cork

Dr. Paolo Lopes is a Portuguese scientist and one of the world’s foremost experts on cork wine closures. He sat down for an interview with the Napa Valley Wine Academy to talk about some of the latest research on cork closures, especially oxygen transfer, and some hard-to-dispel myths about cork.

Myth number 1: Oxygen passes through the cork and interacts with the wine, helping it to age. In fact, corks are impermeable to liquid and gas, and the oxygen that interacts with the wine comes from within the cells of the cork itself. This is critical for aging without oxidizing the wine, because it means that no matter how long the wine is aged, the amount of oxygen that enters the bottle is limited. 

Myth number 2: Most faults in a wine are caused by the cork. In fact, faults can be caused by a number of problems, many related to bottling and the wine-making process, others to contaminants. Even TCA, the fault most closely associated with cork (affecting less than 1% of corks according to chemical analysis), can be caused by other things, such as barrels for example.

Click here to listen to the podcast in full – hear Dr. Lopes discuss these topics and others such as reduction, how to store wine (upright or lying down), phenolics, and more!

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