Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GOurmet TM
Copyright all rights reserved.
The indomitable and irrepressible Travelling GOurmer TM is excited about a new process that…
MAKES Wine Corks TCA FREE!
In 1981, German native Jochen Michalski founded an import and distribution company called Cork Supply in the USA. It was to furnish the American wine industry with high quality corks. Working with his R&D team, Michalski has developed a system with which he claims guarantee natural corks free of TCA and with total sensory neutralities. As a bonus without any extra charge for the wine producer.
What is TCA? The compound is Trichloroanisole and makes the wine “corked” and undrinkable. A problem that has been around for donkey’s years. However, as an International Wine Judge, I have found that the percentage of “corked” wine is somewhat exaggerated. For example at the Concorso Ecologico Internazionale Wine Competition in Vinitaly, as a Wine Judge I tasted and scored 100 to 120 wines a day for a week. Out of those wines there were only about 5-8 “corked” wines. They were replaced with another bottle of the same wine.
The Innocork Circuit process to make the natural corks FREE from TCA is in 2 phases…
1.Purecork process 2. Innocork Process
Phase 1 is the PureCork process
First, the corks are heated to 85°C in a twenty-four-hour cycle. Steam distillation removes TCA and other off-aromas. Followed by Phase 2…
Phase 2 is the InnoCork process
In a one hour cycle, the corks are again heated to 65°C degrees using steam and an ethanol distillate, thereby removing any residual particles.
After the cork has gone through the InnoCork curcuit with InnoCork and PureCork, corks have shown to be 99,85% free of TCA and off-aromas. All natural corks from Cork Supply are currently put through both technological processes, at no additional cost to the customer. That is really something to smile about.
The Olfactory Test
If the value of 99.85% is not enough, one has the opportunity to go one step further: DS100 & DS100+ are the names of the processes that Cork Supply developed a few years ago. Every individual cork is tested and analyzed for TCA by persons with hypersensitive olfactory organs (whose precision cannot be surpassed) in the case of DS100, or by means of a highly sensitive computer programme in the case of DS100+. After completing these procedures, Cork Supply issues the ‘Bottle Buy Back Guarantee’.If a defective cork is discovered, Cork Supply will purchase the bottle back for the retail release price of the bottle.
Quality begins in the forest…
Of course, the vital part is like winegrowing, the quality of the cork , like grapes, begins in the great outdoors of Portugal for example. Hence the maxim: Good grapes make good wine. Stringent selection of the individual oak trees plus constant meticulous monitoring of the cork oaks together with intensive cooperation and consultation with partner companies is de figeur. Experts must walk for miles through the cork forests, take countless samples and perform many analyses, before the first cork bark arrives at the production facility. From the wild forest to the finished product, these corks pass through multiple analytical, sensorial & visual tests before they are approved as wine corks.
Zum Wohl! A German toast that means “To your health”
The Travelling GOurmet TM says: Keep calm and drink wine!