Wine Cork

I am new to making wine. I did a batch of Pinot Noir and it tastes great. My only question seems silly but here goes. It is very hard to remove the cork when I go to drink it. Much harder than commercial wines. I used a #8 cork and the bottles are 750ML. When I put the corks in it was hard as well but I found if they were a little wet they slid in a bit easier. I am using a hand corker not a bench top. Is this normal? The #8 is smaller that the #9 so I hesitate to switch to the 9s.

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Let this soak here for a bit and if you don’t get any response then head over to the cellar rats forum where the winemakers hang out. They are very helpful.

And you’re winemaker.


Could be in the soak

I had read (forget were) that soaking the cork for a while will swell it and make it even harder. When I put it in the sanitizer it’s just for about a minute.
Thanks for the responses so far.

Sounds like a lack of surface coating on the corks. Did you buy direct from a cork supplier or online shop? I do NOT recommend soaking the corks before insertion. Regular 750ml wine bottles take as “standard” a 24mm diameter cork (#9) and will insert and extract fine if proper surface coating is applied.

If you bottle again and need some corks send me a DM. Happy to help

Living the dream! I know nothing about your problem, but I’m excited for you as a new winemaker. This is the site where you’ll find the info, I’m sure!