The Year in Food 2007

Cork Pops Back

It’s been a bumpy couple of years for cork, that venerable old-timey wine-stopper. Screw tops began gaining traction as respectable bottle closures, moving up from Mad Dog 20/20 to (relatively) fine wine. Cork came to be seen as the chupacabra of wine country, ravaging fine vintages by “corking” them with TCA, thereby transforming royal grape juice into nasty plonk. But in 2007, environmentalists became unlikely allies of the cork industry, arguing that cork is a sustainable choice. By buying wine sealed the old-fashioned way, consumers actually nurture and protect old cork forests by ensuring their protection and ongoing replenishment. —James Norton