Have you ever wondered why there are different types of cork to close wine bottles?
Which are the best?
In this post I will tell you more about the 5 main types!
Cork is a fundamental component for a high quality wine.
I’ll show you them!
Thank’s to “how to understand if wine is corked” you already know that corks can be attacked by molds. This surely is a disadvantage!
Are you ready? Let’s start!
Types of cork
Wines are very different from each other and every kind of them has its own cork.
There are sparkling wines with high pressure inside, long term wines that they need a perfect closing, young wines that they need gas exchange and many others.
These are the 5 main types of cork!
This is the oldest type of wine cork. Natural cork was choosing because it has a lot of good properties: it’s waterproof and elastic therefore the cork isolates wine from the external agents, but it has natural microporosity that allows gas exchange. It’s the only cork that lets wine to live and mature in the bottle over extended time.
There are 3 types of natural cork!
1. One Piece Natural cork
It is obtained from the bridge of the cortex in the oak’s thickness. When you’ll remove natural cork from a wine bottle, it will expand 85% of its original size almost instantly and 99% after 24 hours. It is ideal for long term wines.
2. Multi-Piece cork
There are two or more pieces of cork glued together. The cork comes from planks of low thickness which give the cork a high density. It’s usually made with cork scraps. This type of cork is used for larger bottles that don’t need aging.
3. Colmated cork
In colmated cork imperfections are removed by glue that fills the holes. It presents a smooth and uniform surface. It’s used for medium aging still wines (max 3 years).
It has been adopted 40 years ago and wine industry allowed the using on a large scale. They are realized by thermoplastic polymers that ensure a perfect compression when the cork is inserted into the bottle. This type of cork is usually used with young wines (from 1 to 3 years).
Synthetic cork is sterile, therefore it can’t be attacked by molds. It’s possible to find this type of cork in different colors, this allows a customize packaging from the wineries.
There are some advantages: synthetic cork resists for a long time, it guarantees a perfect compression because it can be crafted, you can put the bottle in a vertical position because cork doesn’t need to be wet to preserve its integrity. On the other hand, according to some people, the negative aspect is that it adds a chemical smell to the wine.
For many years this cork has been associated to unrefined wines but nowadays there are a lot wineries that adopt this solution. It’s the most common in the New World Wine Regions, specially Australia and New Zealand, where tradition is not a limit. They have achieved great results about wine quality. This type of cork is suitable for medium and long term wines.
There is a waterproof coverage on the interior side as seal. The screw pitch avoids gas exchange, so screw cap seals better than natural cork and it’s less expensive.
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It was patented in the XIX century. Crown cork becomes the reference of sparkling drinks because it’s very strong on high pressures. The interior side has an elastic coverage that it is used as seal. This feature ensures an hermetic closing.
The advantage of crown cork is the price. It’s cheaper than other types of cork but you can’t feel that magical moment when you uncork the bottle.
Finally there is the glass cork. It’s an innovation since the last years! With it you can open the bottle without corkscrew and you can open and close it every time you want. There is a small seal that guarantees a perfect closure of the bottle. A negative aspect is surely cost, the glass cork is too expensive.
This type of cork is so interesting that I’ve asked at Marika Socci of Azienda Vitivinicola Socci why she uses this type of cork in her winery.
I will now hand over to Marika.
It was 2008 and we were searching the right alternative at natural cork, so we decided to try glass cork.
We start to use it for two reasons! First of all, my dad wanted no more that cork could damage wine. And the second reason was that we want differentiate our winery from the others.
Glass cork allowed to increase our sales of wine in a period in which sommeliers and restaurateurs were very skeptical about it. While customers were attracted a lot about this innovation!
As Simone already said, you can open and close the bottle every time you want. If the wine bottle is not finished yet, you can close it and bring it with you at home. For this reason we apply a label that suggest it to customer.
The choice of using glass cork has been a risk because of the increasing of the price of our bottles. This is due to high cost of single cork.
Obviously before choosing among the various types of cork we studied and tested to find the best solution and today we can confirm that glass cork is our best decision!
And the winner is?
There isn’t a winner cork! Every wine has its own cork. Is up to you to decide which type of cork is better for your bottles of wine.
Which is your favorite wine bottle corks? Let me know with a comment!
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