The cork harvest in Portugal

We drive out of the centre of Lisbon over the 11 km long Vasco de Gama bridge, crossing the Tejo esturary, and head for the Alentejo. We are off to the cork forests, to witness the harvest of cork bark. We were with Cork Supply’s Frederico Lima Mayer, who is in charge of buying cork […]

A hugely interesting scientific paper questions what we know about musty cork taint

A scientific paper that has just been published in journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) examines the way that 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), the key compound responsible for musty cork taint is perceived. The results are surprising.

They suggest that TCA acts on olfactory receptor cells (the cells containing the proteins that detect smells) by suppressing protein […]

Corked wine, and some dodgy lenticels

Had another corked wine. I say ‘another’, but actually, it’s the first in ages. I wonder whether it’s getting rarer? Or maybe, it’s because many wines I drink are sealed with alternative closures or treated technical corks such as Diam?

Once again, this corked wine has some large, deep lenticels on the wine-facing end. I’ve wondered […]

How cork is made

Just posted an illustrated guide to how cork is made, on the main wineanorak site – here. It’s a very attractive substance. Such a shame about the existence of cork taint, and also the fact that cork isn’t totally consistent. But when it’s good, it can help wines age magnificently.

In neck closures – natural cork, technical […]

Making a pledge for cork

I had a meeting this morning at Clarence House, the home of the Prince of Wales, so afterwards I wandered down to take a peek at the ‘Start’ Garden Party to Make a Difference, which is being held over the next few days here (see the website for more details).

The idea of Start is to […]