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Theodora Lee
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#1 Post by Theodora Lee »

Found an article in the Wine Cellar Insider, which best describes the how's and why's of corked wine.
The best corks allow close to 1 milligram of oxygen to enter the bottle each year. This is just the right amount of air to remove the sulfites that were added in the bottling process to keep the wine fresh and to avoid the harmful effects of oxidation. This small amount of air is perfect for helping age-worthy
Cork is produced from the sponge like material taken from cork oak trees, also known as Quercus Suber. Cork oak trees are grown primarily in Portugal. Cork started to become the sealing material of choice in the late 1600’s when it became possible to create glass wine bottles with an almost uniform shape and design. It took until the late 1700’s to create easy to use corkscrews for the wine lover or tavern owner. At that point in history, cork replaced glass wine stoppers, which while they worked well, glass stoppers were not easy to remove without breaking the wine bottle.

Cooked wines and how to identify them by looking at the cork

Wine is a living, breathing agricultural product and while most wines are hardy, they need proper care and attention, especially if they are destined for cellaring to be opened at a later date. This means that the the should never be exposed to high heat, or temperature spikes. Short term exposure to high heat, over 80 degrees Fahrenheit can cause damage to your wine. If the wine reaches every higher temperatures, the likelihood of your wine suffering permanent damage grows exponentially.

It is possible to tell if your wine suffered potential heat damage without opening the bottle. If the cork is protruding from the bottle top, that could be due to temperature spikes, or from freezing temperatures. Either is a problem, especially if you are planning to hold the wine for extended cellaring. You can also see potential issues if you can see seepage, meaning that there are signs of dried, wine residue on the neck of the bottle.

Theodora Lee aka Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards

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