Last week's post about how much I appreciate screw tops did me no good with a variety of wine drinkers. One friend of mine, after he read it, said: "I'm only going to say one thing. If the cork goes, it's the end of Western Civilization."
And that was one of the kindest comments.
Cork people are fiercely loyal. I have had wine students, who wouldn't argue with me about anything else wine-related, practically leap to their feet in defense of the cork. "How can you have wine without a cork?" they cry. That this comes from people who barely drink wine just makes it all the more confusing.
It's all about the romance of the vine, a malady that apparently affects everyone, wine drinker or no. Last week, I noted a survey that showed consumers love corks. Here's another, from the Cork Quality Council, which is doing all it can to convince the world that those of us who don't trust corks are wrong: "Many in both groups saw corks as a 'traditional' component that added general romance and sophistication to the wine. Most respondents had definite and positive opinions about the proper feel, sound and appearance of a 'good' cork."
How do you argue with that?
You don't. You just duck. Andy Perdue, who edits the well-regarded Wine Press Northwest, recently wrote nice things -- repeat, nice things -- about corks, only to be greeted with this comment: "Andy, your prejudice against real cork knows no shame."
Ouch. Guess Andy didn't duck quickly enough.
(The cork photo is from Crystal Leigh Shearin of Rocky Mount, N.C., via stock.xchng.)