Top quality natural corks?

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exodus

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Hello! When using natural corks for long term aging of course it's wise to invest in the highest quality possible which is my goal.

All of the common internet stores sell what they call "top quality, extra first" natural corks, but without a brand name, or source info., how do you really know which ones used the highest grade materials, and the most care in manufacturing, packaging, storage, etc.?

Does anyone know a supplier for the home wine maker that carries such top-quality natural corks you would trust with your very best vintages?

Thanks!

George
 

rawlus

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what sort of quantity can you use? if it is between 500-1000 chances are you will be best getting them direct from the source and/or from a high-turnover supplier in factory packaging. 2nd best bet is to split a factory batch with one or more people, alot of factories will do heat stamping and such on factory orders which can personalize your wines even more if that's something you're interested in.

the grading system from highest to lowest looks something like this...
Flor
Extra
Superior
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
Agglomerated
Colmated

for smaller quantities, try St. Patricks of Texas, they fully acknowledge their source as well as the handling practices which i feel puts them a step ahead of many other retailers.

at some retailers i have seen colmated and agglomerated corks called "winery grade" which to me is not an established indicator of quality and can be very misleading to a consumer.
 

NSwiner

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Have you thought about going with the synthetics for long term storage ? Where are you from ? that would help people giving you advice . The reason I ask about synthetics is because there's a man in town that had a house fire and lost all his wines except the ones with synthetic corks ,they didn't let the bad things from the smoke through but the regular corks did . So what I do now is the more exspensive kits and even a few I want to age of the cheap wines I use synthetic .For cheap kits like Orchard breeze and probably my Skeeter Pee because it won't last I'll use regular corks .
 

rawlus

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i will admit i am a bit of a snob about closures.
i don't like synthetic corks, i don't like their looks, i don't like their plasticness, i don't like the difficulty in extracting and inserting them, i just dont like them.

in commercial wines, i'd rather a screwtop than a synthetic cork.

i am always so sad when i pull off the capsule and see a bright neon-colored bullet in the neck of the bottle - i feel ripped off, cheated, misled.

then again, i'm not making 10s of thousands of cases where every penny saved is important. i can afford the price of natural cork and enjoy my bias against synthetics with a clear conscience.

has anyone determined if the polyethylene off-gasses into wine in long term aging? how does the alcohol and acidity do with plastic long-term? how do you recycle your synthetics? heh.
 

Runningwolf

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Rawlus, So how do you really feel ..:):):):)
 

jet

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Have you thought about going with the synthetics for long term storage ? Where are you from ? that would help people giving you advice . The reason I ask about synthetics is because there's a man in town that had a house fire and lost all his wines except the ones with synthetic corks ,they didn't let the bad things from the smoke through but the regular corks did . So what I do now is the more exspensive kits and even a few I want to age of the cheap wines I use synthetic .For cheap kits like Orchard breeze and probably my Skeeter Pee because it won't last I'll use regular corks .
I've heard that synthetic corks seal so well they prevent bottle aging. If true, that might be a problem depending on the wine.
 

exodus

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Rawlus, thanks so much for the detailed info. it is much appreciated. My qty's are just for home winemaking, I usually buy only about 100 at a time. I agree with you on the "winery grade" title, and I also question the true grade of some corks since they usually arrive via mail in plain clear bags it's hard to know for sure unless you know the store owner personally.

I'm sorry... I really did not mean to open the "synthetic vs. natural" debate. There are good points both side, but personally I am only interested in natural cork right or wrong. I just wish there was more background info. on the ones available, for example with synthetics you usually know the brand, then you can back track with the company to determining the "model" and grade from their line being sold.

Thanks again!
 

NSwiner

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I've heard that synthetic corks seal so well they prevent bottle aging. If true, that might be a problem depending on the wine.
I don't know where you would have heard that but seriously I have no problem aging the wine with them after all isn't that the point to keep all the air out ..
 

NSwiner

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i will admit i am a bit of a snob about closures.
i don't like synthetic corks, i don't like their looks, i don't like their plasticness, i don't like the difficulty in extracting and inserting them, i just dont like them.

in commercial wines, i'd rather a screwtop than a synthetic cork.

i am always so sad when i pull off the capsule and see a bright neon-colored bullet in the neck of the bottle - i feel ripped off, cheated, misled.

then again, i'm not making 10s of thousands of cases where every penny saved is important. i can afford the price of natural cork and enjoy my bias against synthetics with a clear conscience.

has anyone determined if the polyethylene off-gasses into wine in long term aging? how does the alcohol and acidity do with plastic long-term? how do you recycle your synthetics? heh.
Well I like the cleanliness of Synthetics don't have to worry about germs in them like cork .

Maybe it's us Canadian girls but I have no problem getting them out :h sometimes the nat. cork is just as hard if not harder to get out .

I think you better get used to seeing them in commercial wines they are here to stay and it's not because they are cheaper them natural corks .

I'm sure they have done lots of testing before putting them in 10s of millions cases of wine .No company would want to be sued because someone got sick from thier wine . Plus they are drinking thier own wine .

Some people just don't like change in certain products and I think the cork is yours lol . Mine has nothing to do with wine but Kraft dinner macaroni it sucks now lol

So I think we need to go open a bottle of wine and ponder all the changes coming our good & bad . :ib :b :dg
 

jet

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Sorry, I didn' know I was re-opening an old debate (natural vs. synthetic corks). I'll shut up now.
 

NSwiner

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So exodus you never did get the answer you were looking for btu you never told us where you are from that really would be helpful .Are you in the States ,Canada or other country. Jet everyone is able to have thier opinion here and if I sounded snippy with you earlier I apologize ,didn't mean it to come across like that .
 

jet

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So exodus you never did get the answer you were looking for btu you never told us where you are from that really would be helpful .Are you in the States ,Canada or other country. Jet everyone is able to have thier opinion here and if I sounded snippy with you earlier I apologize ,didn't mean it to come across like that .
No problem. I just didn't want to hijack this thread with some overly-discussed, old debate.
 

Runningwolf

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Jet, yes we do have a search tab here to look things up, but please don't ever be afraid to ask. New people will always be asking questions we may have recently discussed but if you're asking there are plenty of other's out there also wondering the same question. That is why we are here.
 

exodus

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NSwiner, hi yes lots of good information. Hey, I may even attempt to be a little more open minded and try some synthetics! In response to your question, I'm in the the USA, Ohio.

Have a good Easter!
 

exodus

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Hi Darlene, thanks. Those are mostly the online stores I referred to in my initial post, most are are good overall they just lacked any specific level of detail on their natural corks. But, St. Patricks does have some very good detail.
 

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