Wine snobs have it right: Sealing bottles with real corks (pdf) is the way to go. Unlike synthetics, they're biodegradable; require little energy to make; and are sustainably harvested, providing jobs for rural communities. (The material comes from the cork oak's bark, which can be removed without damaging the tree.) But the trend toward other toppers could destroy the commercial value of--and the incentive to protect--2.7 million acres of Mediterranean forests. More wine, anyone?
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November 16, 2006
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