Thursday, September 08, 2005

OBSERVATION: Put a cork in it!

Once again, an important American ... nay, worldwide ... cultural tradition is at risk. I am speaking of the refined rituals associated wine. I am NOT referring to the guzzling of an alcoholic beverage. I mean the partaking of a finely fermented wine, savored and consumed in accordance with ancient traditions.

Central to the experience of wine is the humble cork. It is more than a seal. It is the guardian of the bottled liquid, only one of two elements (the other being glass) that is allowed to come into direct contact with the libation as it mellows undecanted, mellowing as it awaits its aromatic release. No bottle of wine can be stored without being in constant contact with the cork. The cork has just the right characteristics as to form a perfect seal. More recently I discovered that the ancient natural cork is being replaced by a synthetic version. Not only does this artificial cork frustrate removal, it is a plastic imposter.

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