The production techniques for premium natural corks have been revolutionised in recent years to guarantee negligible levels of contamination and extremely reliable quality control. So if you buy natural corks from a supplier such as CorkLink, you can expect to receive an extremely safe and reliable product. However it is important that once you receive the corks, you should handle them correctly, to avoid any risk of contamination or deterioration:
- We deliver corks in sealed bags containing sulphur dioxide, so do not open these bags until the corks are ready to be loaded into the corking machine.
- Do not leave any unused corks in the corking machine, but return them to the bags until they are next required.
- Always store corks in a cool dry area, away from any other chemicals. The ideal humidity level to store corks is 50 to 70% and the moisture content of corks themselves should always be between 5 and 8%. It is also important to make sure that the bottle necks are also completely dry before corking.
- You should use natural wine corks within 6 months of buying them – after 6 months, there may be some deterioration in the mechanical properties of the corks and they may require a fresh treatment.
- The temperature of the wine at bottling should be between 15ºc and 21ºc (50º to 70º Fahrenheit) – if for any reason the temperature is lower than this, the wine may expand in the bottle when it warms up, which will decrease the vacuum space in the bottle. The bottles should also be kept upright for 24 hours after corking.
- Finally it is worth reiterating how important it is that you use an appropriate cork size for the wine and bottle type you are using. We are always happy to offer guidance on this, but you need to consider the profile of the neck of the bottle you are using and how long the wine is going to age in the bottle when considering the length of the cork that you are going to use.
We go to enormous efforts to make sure that the corks we deliver are in perfect condition, so it is always worthwhile to make sure that you do everything you can to keep them this way by following the above rules. If you would like to know any further information about looking after natural wine corks, please don’t hesitate to contact us.