Thursday, December 21, 2006
In the next few days, more bottles of wine and champagne will be emptied than at any other time in the rest of the year.
Earlier this week, I had an unpleasant experience with a bottle of wine: when I opened it I discovered – Horror! -- that the stopper was made of plastic, not of cork.
WWF warns that cork stoppers are under threat due to the increasing proliferation of plastic and metal stoppers. It’s hard to find a product that is more sustainable than cork, though.
I went back the next day to the wine shop, with a copy of a WWF-Spain publication with an article called “Sí al corcho” (Yes to cork), which I left them. I explained to the shopkeeper that when they abandon cork, wine traders are acting irresponsibly because at the same time they abandon (with no need whatsoever) rural people who have been for unmemorable times guardians of biodiversity and natural landscapes on both sides of the Mediterranean. We have already let so much of rural life disappear; shouldn’t we conserve cork oaks and their sustainable use?
Last night, I wrote a letter to the wine producer I had bought the bottle from. I invited him to think, and told him that I would stop buying his wine as long as they did not come back to cork (and that I’d tell people around me to do the same).