Sunday, March 22, 2009

You've Pulled Them, Sniffed Them, Even Reused Them, But Have You Thought About Them?

I'm talking about corks of course! Those precious, soft lumps of tree that seal in the precious liquid gold we call wine. I know you've touched them, maybe even played with them mindlessly, flipping them on the table top after a glorious or inglorious meal, whatever the case may be. Maybe, feigning like you're a wine connoisseur, you've even sniffed them, declaring something poetic and esoteric about the wine you're about to consume. They're the gatekeepers of one of our most prized human possessions, and according to my friend and winemaker, Bill Cates, their use dates back to 500 B.C. And, once in a while, when a bottle still has some lingering treasure, you've probably stuffed the cork back into the bottle, preying it will keep your precious wine fresh a little while longer.

Well ponder them no longer, because I have a great essay on corks to share with you. On his newly launched website, my friend and a writer and winemaker at Tantara Winery in Santa Maria has posted a wonderful article on corks. Also, I highly recommend checking out his wines. I absolutely love his pinot noirs and his chardonnays and have many bottles stocked in my cellar. In fact, Tantara was one of the inspirations for Rex Pickett, author of Sideways, the book that was turned into a movie and put Santa Maria and pinot noir on the map big time. I'll be heading up to Tantara in April for their biannual open house - information should also be on their website. But in the meantime, check out Bill's essay on corks.

Click here for Bill Cates' awesome article on corks!

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