Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt

Dear WWF: Go screw yourselves

[Some background here: The World Wildlife Foundation has published a report demanding that the wine industry stop it with the screwcaps already and go back to using cork. Why? Well, cork is natural and preserves cork forests on the Iberian peninsula. Never mind that cork is a craptastic stopper for wine bottles - it ruins one out of every ten bottles, ages inconsistently, and may result in another one out of every ten bottles not tasting quite the way it should - those of us who drink wine should demand it even if it means it screws up our wine drinking experience nearly 25% of the time. The text below is taken verbatim from the WWF report; my comments are in brackets.]

WWF calls on the wine and the cork industries to reverse the current and potential threats that affect the survival of cork oak landscapes. [Specifically, don't use closures that guarantee the quality of the wine. Use cork!]

In order to maintain the existence of the cork forests, the wine and cork industries need to take action now to maintain the markets for cork stoppers. [... by shipping inferior product.]

– The wine industry needs to demonstrate its corporate responsibility by considering the environmental and socioeconomic values of cork – by choosing cork and promoting its use among customers. [There are few consumer markets that profitably sell inferior product marketed solely on its environmental and socioeconomic values. Fair trade coffee tastes every bit as good as "regular" coffee; wine shipped with corks is often not as good as screwcapped wine. Good luck!]

– The cork industry needs to maintain and improve the quality of cork stoppers (addressing in particular the issues related to TCA and traceability) and communicating progress to the wine industry and consumers. [They've been doing this for decades now, all without success.]

WWF aims to work with the cork and the wine industries to promote products from sustainably-managed cork oak landscapes, and to encourage responsible purchasing attitudes through the market chain, from cork and wine industries to end consumers. [Again, good luck. I'm not going to buy spoiled wine regardless of how sustainably managed the cork forest is - sorry.]

It is clear that the future survival of cork oak forests rests largely on the market for cork stoppers and that the wine industry has a major role to play in meeting this challenge. [The wine industry has largely moved on - over 35% of all wines made in Australia are now under screwcap, for example. If you want to keep the cork industry afloat, it might be time to investigate new markets for your product instead of whining at the wine industry for no longer using it.]
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