Cork wine stoppers

Shock horror! Found my first “plastic cork” yesterday, fitted to a bottle of Alentejano purchased purchased from Continente as it is referred to nowadays (what happened to Modelo?). From my (extensive!) experience this is a first on the island – back in the UK of course 9 out of 10 are plastic nowadays. I would guess that this is another nail in the coffin for the traditional Portuguese cork industry.

A quick “Google” revealed a fascinating web site 

Apparently Portugal accounts for 50% of the world’s total cork production and about 720,000 hectares of land are dedicated to the cultivation of cork oak trees on the mainland . I had no idea how many different kinds of cork stoppers there are – from “multi-piece” to “colmated”, “agglomerated” and “capsulated”

21 thoughts on “Cork wine stoppers”

  1. Interesting web site. Always seems a shame to me that old traditions die out. As I understand it “corked wine” has little to do with faulty corks, so I would guess this is down to a cost saving exercise?

  2. Most wine comes with screw tops now. Australia has led the way and since Australian wine makers now work in most wine producing regions in the world (including Portugal!) so this is the way it will go. Plastic stoppers are only found in the cheapest wines in my (also very extensive) experience, as a consumer, and a retailer.

  3. Dolphin Season has arrived ….. we’re currently watching a very large school/pod of Golfinos feeding just 1km off shore from lower Gaula – fish jumping, gulls floating and flying and Dolphins a leaping – brilliant! They look like (smallish) bottle nose from here……truly a great sight watching wild animals in their natural habitat.

  4. Looks like I have been correctly identified by Adrian as a budget conscious wine-drinker – times are hard! Having said that you can get some very very good wines for less than €5.00 – not just from the Alentejo, but other less well known regions.

    Didn’t the Australian wine-makers buy up a most of the Portuguese vineyards quite a while back – is this why there has been such an improvement.?

  5. Pound is gathering strength against the Euro after 2 huge devaluations.
    Just after having changed our money!!
    Never mind.
    The British economy is bursting with manufacturing orders and the banks won’t allow any borrowing for expansion.
    Banks and Politicians—what a shower

  6. The Dolphins are Free Jayne – but donations are accepted for a glass (or two) of wine on the Terrace with the humble hosts! Whales next week? Definately extra but free use of binoculars…..cheers everyone!

  7. As you can see from the above, I am clearly a budget concious wine drinker also …. Indeed may I suggest a good (I think) fresh white from the AZEITAO at just less than TWO Euro! With real corks….The name attracted me at first = J.P.
    My initials? J.P.

    I sometimes jokingly tell guests that it is our wine, produced and bottled by us.
    However, some recent German guests took me quite literally and placed an order for x6 bottles! We’ve only got x3 grape vines, I must learn more German!

    It’s like telling our French friends that an ouef is enough = un oeuf est suffisant!

    Time for a glass of Vino = un verre n’est pas suffisant, indeed, of J.P. = um copo não é bastante!

    Cheers, Saude.

  8. Suffisant! Bastante! Enough…..’morning Martin & Mrs M, hope both well and settling in happily……warming up nicely now and into next week, Spring is in the air, should be good weather for the Flower Festival.

  9. I was given some great wine from Sao Vicente (cant remember the label exactly Corta Norte ??) made in a modern style. Have seen it in Sa. My brother in law always orders Alentejo wines when we are eating out, which are always good. That said my most memorable meal was hosted by my compadre which was a 5 course lunch (including a beef fillet of nearly a kilo each!) with which we had 5 bottles of vino verde between us and finished with 100 year old Madeira made by his grandfather.

  10. Yes, apart from the J.P. wine mentioned above, we stick to Alentejo also, reliable, great taste, a good “quaffable” table wine at good prices……Monte Velho is also good although a tadge more expensive and Chamine is reserved for special occasions, again even more expensive and it can be a little “oakey” or “heavy” for some…..

  11. In Azambuja a couple of years back we were staying near a cannery where lorries of tomatoes were arriving every 2 minutes around the clock for the whole 2 weeks we were there. The roads were red with tomatoes. I didn`t think there were that many tomatoes in the world! Yet i have never seen a single can of Portuguese tomatoes in UK. Italian, Spanish, even South American. Where do the Portuguese ones go? A lot of produce in Madeira seems to come from Azores. Even milk! I bet the Azoreans are prospering in spite of euro crisis – they still grow and sell stuff!

  12. I used to buy baby tomatoes in a tin for my “Signature Dish” and they are now no longer available! One supermarket (unnamed) has tinned “bog standard” tomatoes for nearly 2euros!

  13. Yes, certainly in Sa and Modelo, in recent weeks “bog standard” tinned tomatoes are nearly 2 Euros a tin – crazy prices. To make a spag bol/lasagne/curry etc now it has become too expensive! As you say, Adrian, where do Portuguese tomatoes go? I can understand milk coming from the Azores as they are flatter, greener and wetter; hence the cows love it and are able to walk around! Again, in agreement with your comments Adrian, even the majority of cigarettes for sale here are made in the Azores. Come on Madeira ……


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