Top Story: March 5, 2010

Wine to the Rescue!

450px-Cork_Trees_Ubrique

Now there’s even more reasons to drink wine! Over the years we’ve heard that wine, in moderation, can be good for your health—red wine is good for your heart and may decrease the risk of lung cancer in men, both white and red wine can keep Streptococcus away, and Cabernet Sauvignon may protect you from Alzheimer’s.

Now here’s the topper: cork is sustainable and good for biodiversity!

For hundreds of years vintners have used cork from oak cork trees as wine bottle stoppers. Grown mostly in southern Europe and northern Africa, the forests that contain these trees are also home to various endangered bird and animal species, including the Iberian lynx.

Cork trees can live for 200 years and stripping the cork bark from the tree to make wine stoppers is quite sustainable. The bark will grow back in about nine years to be harvested again. It is also harvested by hand, creating very little impact on the land.

Several years ago, a few wine-makers switched over to screw-tops and synthetic corks, because the quality of corks can be inconsistent. But corks are still atop about 80% of all wine bottles and cork producers are ensuring better quality.

Used corks can also be recycled—and made into floors, walls and other items.

So raise a glass or two this weekend, because the more you drink, the healthier you are and the more you protect biodiversity!

Creative Commons image by Wavering

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