Wine Food Pairing ... Cork, Zork ?????

Wine Food Pairing makes many of us nervous. Just when you start to get comfortable someone throws a monkey wrench (or should I say corkscrew!) into the mix!

Many wineries, in fact almost 90% of them in New Zealand have turned away from the prestigious cork to stopper up our favorite beverage and have turned instead to “screw” tops. HOLY COW! What’s going on? In the past, only the REALLY super economical (cheap) wines were sealed that way…..and we all know they gave us a headache in the morning!

If you think about it, how many times have you been served wine that is “corked”? Statistics say that between 2% and 8% of the wines that are sealed with a cork has that delightful moldy, kind of like wet cardboard taste and smell? The cause of cork taint is a mystery and is supposed to be harmless, but who wants to drink it? In addition, what food do you “pair” it with? I don’t think you’ll find any wine food pairing chart giving advice on that!

The screw tops of today are highly engineered pieces of metal that seem to do the job of preserving wine quite nicely. Basically, you want the wine to stay in the bottle and to seal out the air so no oxidation occurs. We Americans will just have to “get over” our prejudices on screw tops.

OK, just when you think it’s alright to unscrew a bottle of your favorite vino, I hear the sound of a POP…. But wait it’s not a cork…it’s a ZORK….what the heck is that you ask? Apparently, the Australians have been busily designing a new wine stopper. YIKES! It has the same airtight seal of a screw top and doesn’t even require a corkscrew…..which you can’t locate when you need it anyway! It is opened with just your hands and it easily goes back into the bottle to keep your wine fresh…….and guess what? It “POPS”! What more do you want?

In Austria, many of the local wines are stoppered by simply a bottle cap, you know, the kind, just like beer or soda caps that require a church key to open.

So all in all, the wine bottle cork, zork, screw top issue is still up in the air, but wait .... something new on the horizon .......

I just saw this in the news out of California ....

DAVIS - University of California, Davis students have invented a way to bottle wine that combines the breathability of cork with the reliability and convenience of a screw cap.

The invention won the university's annual Big Bang business plan contest and $15,000 in start up funding this week.

The patent-pending design is a 5-cent plastic and metal disk beneath a screw cap. Like cork, the cap lets in just enough oxygen so the wine can age properly.

Winemaker and business school student Tim Keller says his team's invention can be adjusted for different wines. For instance, pinot noir needs a little oxygen, while cabernet sauvignon needs a lot.

Check out new plastic insert Click Here!

Wow, what will they think up next!

Wine food pairing ... always a challenge to open the wine!


Uncle Brewski said...

How come somebody else thinks of all the cool stuff!

Denise Clarke said...

I guess we need to start thinking "outside the bottle" ... LOL!

KittyMeow said...

Hello! - I found your blog via SGCC :-D

My parents have started using Zorks in their wine (small winery down south in Tasmania, Aus) - they are really brilliant. Dad was getting way too much unreliability with the different brands of corks he had tried, and Zorks have all the benefits and none of the cons - An easy switch! I hope these catch on elsewhere in the world. I hadn't realised they were an Aussie invention!