The Zork Cork is the latest way to cap off a bottle of wine.
A New Twist on Closure: We discovered a bottle of delightful Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from a Sonoma estate named for an old adobe, Leese-Fitch. We found the wine itself light, crisp, lemon grassy and utterly easy to drink. The $10 price tag didn’t hurt, either. But what was most intriguing about this bottle of wine was its closure. Not a cork, nor the infamous Stelvin screw cap. It was something much, much different. There was a hard plastic seal that spiraled around the top of the bottle. I pried open the end of the spiral and began unwinding it, thinking it would expose a cork. But no, what it exposed was a plastic plug that I pulled out easily. Incredibly simple! Just unwind—or unpeel, if you will—the outer closure, then pull out the plug. No corkscrew required. The wine needed no extra breathing time to be open and accessible.
Turns out this baby is called a Zork Cork, sort of a combination of screw cap and cork. It was invented in Australia, and is one of the new methods being explored by vintners anxious for viable alternatives to the endangered and issue-plagued cork. As cork wine closures dry, they can shrink to the point where too much air is admitted into the liquid and the wine is ruined, or “corked.” And let’s face it, some wine snobs avoid the Stelvin closure because they can’t bear the connotations of a screw-top bottle of alcohol. Whatever. Well, this Zork Cork thingie is very cool. Let’s see if others adopt what is apparently the hot new thing in antipodean winemaking.