:> May be a good idea to consider a synthetic cork... quite superior imho.
: It has been about five years since I did my research on synthetic
: corks. Back then, research was coming in from Australia, where
: synthetic corks have been used longer than anywhere else, that
: questioned whether they were superior. I'll take another look when I
: have the time, but if anyone has URLs to share on this subject please
: post them.
: Jack Keller, The Winemaking Home Page
In saying that synthetic corks were superior, I was only registering an
opinion; however, in arriving at that opinion, I asked myself what the
purpose of a cork was. The straightforward answer was to provide an 'inert
barrier' between the alcohol in the bottle and the atmosphere outside.
Corks (as opposed to synthetic plugs) are biodegradable and porous and
therefore rot and allow the passage of liquid and gas. It is only the fact
that corks swell in liquid that allows them to fulfil the role of a stopper.
Otherwise they would be useless (as is evidenced by wine going off when its
A synthetice plug is not subject to either porosity or biodegradability and
this is what I based my opinion on.
In the book, Sake Pure and Simple, it is noted that many Sake producers,
especially in America, now use synthetic plugs and twist-off caps, instead
of corks, as they provide a superior seal. The fact that Sake can oxidise
rapidly (and react badly to UV) is why (brown bottles and) modern stoppers
Sake and Mead - as different as chalk and cheese! (No hangover with Sake!)