put a cork in it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

From Wine Business online comes the news that Supremecorq, the company that pioneered the synthetic cork in the early 1990s, is suspending operations.

No surprise there. From my vantage point, their product was the absolute worst of the many alternative closures now on the market. Ugly for starters. Difficult to remove. Impossible to push back in.

Somewhere, some cork pushers are doing a mild celebration I suppose. One minor competitor down, many to go. The cork pushers have been the subject of this blog before, for their egregious (love that word!) over-the-top attempts to guilt-trip consumers into believing that drinking wine sealed with anything but natural cork was going to pollute the earth, wipe out the economy of Portugal, contribute to greenhouse gases, and generally wreak havoc on mankind.

But just this week came the most insane e-mail from a cork pusher yet. This one, sent to a winemaker who kindly passed it along to me, adds an entirely new dimension to the guilt tripping. Now, we are told, screwcaps are causing an epidemic of autism! Here you go:

On Behalf Of Reliable Cork Solutions
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 1:25 PM
Subject: Helping Wineries and Vineyards preserve their wine

To: [#Company_Name],
Reliable Cork Solutions (RCS) is a believer in the natural wine cork and these are a few reasons to choose us for your cork needs:

[blather blather blather]

This past Tuesday, in the midst of a severe snowstorm followed by ice and sleet we spent an evening with the owner and president of one of the pioneers of the Willamette Valley Wine growing region. This gentleman is also a passionate believer in an all-natural wine cork. He reminded us that the Mediterranean cork forests are second only to the Amazon Rain Forest in importance to the earth’s biosphere. He also wishes to remind us that your consumers can recycle their used natural wine corks at any Whole Foods store.

Our host also pointed out that Autism in our young people has increased 10 fold since 1989 and in the last 4 years it has increased by 57%. The synthetic wine stopper and the screw top are man made from petroleum products. He pondered whether there might be a connection to the use of these stoppers and other synthetic products could be contributing to this terrible disease that is affecting our young people. Many winemakers make light of the synthetic and screw top not being sustainable. However, it is worth considering the consequences of these chemical and petroleum products to our health and that of future generations and our planet. [End quote]

PG: Stop the carnage! Oh the humanity! What's next, my winemaker friend wondered... screwcaps cause premature ejaculation? Rabies? Are actually "dark matter" and contributing to the destruction of the known universe?

But on further consideration, what I find most particularly audacious about this cork pusher pitch is not the recounting of the usual hoodeedoo about the biosphere. Nor even the absurd claim that screwcaps are somehow connected to an alleged rise in autism. No, it’s that ridiculous story about the Willamette Valley “pioneer” who transmitted this bit of misinformation. C’mon RCS – own up to your own copy. Don’t pitch it as something you heard during a snowstorm. There’s a snowstorm going on here all right, but it isn’t about the weather. Put a cork in it!


Anonymous said...

As a friend of mine pointed out - not too many children drink wine! (Maybe this is not as true for Europe...)

wineracks said...

It's a great news, I really prefer natural cork, I've seen how it's getting and is something worth to see.

Unknown said...

A fellow winemaker asked if I was still putting tree bark in my wine bottles. My answer was yes. I then ask if he was still putting crude oil in his wine bottles.

I liked Supremecorq for one reason. We used them to check the alignment of our corker jaws. If the jaws are slightly misaligned, they put a permanent crease in plastic corks. The crease cannot be detected with natural cork.

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