One reader dismisses concerns about public water, while another gets deep into the real reason for corked wine.

Taint Misbehaving
Re: “A New Twist on Closure” (Epicure, Feb. 6): “Corked” wine does not come from too much air being admitted into the liquid (wine). The cause of a wine being “corked” is from cork taint, or TCA, which stands for 2,4,6-trichloroanisole—a chemical so powerful that even in infinitesimal amounts it can cause musty aromas and flavors in wines. The compound forms through the interaction of plant phenols, chlorine and mold. It most frequently occurs in natural corks (TCA can even form on tree bark) and is transferred to the wine in bottle—which is why wines with these off-aromas are often called “corky.” But the taint can originate elsewhere in wineries, where damp surfaces and chlorine-based cleaning products are commonplace; barrels, wooden pallets, wood beams and cardboard cases are all sources of phenols. If TCA goes undiscovered, it can spread and eventually taint the wines.
 Most importantly, Zork Corks, screw caps and plastic cork composites consist of inorganic material (Zork Corks are at least as far as I know) taking years to disintegrate (or not). One hundred percent cork is an organic substance and will break down over time.
Christina, thank you for the article. Next time you would like to share a meal with a family of three please let me know!
Greg Muck
Santa Cruz

Could Be Worse
Re: “Tap Secret” (Cover, Jan. 23). Public water is fine if you are “not pregnant.” So before you know you are pregnant, at the most vulnerable stage, it's really a pity you were drinking that City water. Oh dear, that is such an indictment of our stewardship of land & waterways.
I was drawn to read this article because a fair number of Santa Cruz residents now have close ties with SD Wounded Knee Lakota, where access to safe, and even sometimes any water, is a big challenge. Here we have it on tap and our concerns turn to quality of such. I am stilled by stark juxtaposition in this day and age.
Corrina McFarlane
Santa Cruz



Follow the Money
Re: “Bottom Line on Local Restaurants”: I couldn't have said it better.  You are 100% correct.  I always say that there is plenty of money here but people don't want to spend it here.  They would rather spend a weekend in SF for theatre, culture, fine dining, and accommodations.
Don Honda

Yay Us?
Re: “Bottom Line on Local Restaurants”: This was a really peculiar letter, because on one hand you're faulting Santa Cruz residents for being “bottom feeders”, and on the other, you're applauding establishments like Cafe Cruz and La Posta for their winning strategy of catering to the locals – that is, the “bottom feeders.” So are we—the local consumers—the problem or the solution?
TJ Juckson
Santa Cruz

More Bang
Re: “Bottom Line on Local Restaurants” (Letter, Jan. 23): Santa Cruz patrons, when it comes to food or art, are cheap, period!  Mr. Marsh suggests that we are presented with the dining quality we deserve at lower prices.  For food, maybe, but for artistic works, locals get far more for the dollars charged.
Kathy Cheer

One and Done
Re: “The Crash of the Flying Cigar.” I did a straw poll amongst my friends who visited Le Cigar Volant once, never to return, and the reason was the same: arrogant and uncaring wait staff.
Judy Slattum