Cork or screw cap?

CorkCraftPIn the last ten years the cork industry has seen dramatic changes in desire for their product. Although cork is a 100 per-cent natural and renewable material, wineries are enclosing their bottles with synthetic or plastic mocks due to tainted wine.

With 50 per-cent of the globe’s cork production, Portugal has experienced a decline of their main industry which accounts for 16 per-cent of the country’s foreign income. Although the screw cap alternatives are easier to handle, various factors of ecological responsibility are ignored for the non-traditional method of “poppin’ bottles.”

Every nine years, a cork oak tree is stripped of its bark to produce the light and flexible cork material. This processes helps the tree re-new and strive to live for up to 300 years. Apart from wine stoppers, the cork industry has expanded to flooring, footwear and unique crafting ideas (to name a few). However, these uses may not be enough to support Portugal’s 500 factories and 50,000 industry professionals.


Making up 5.3 million acres of forest, these special oak trees are home to many endangered species. As a major source for CO2 retention, it is no argument that cork provides a friendly green advantage over plastic stoppers, which produce 10-24 times more greenhouse gases.CorkGreenhouseGases

António Rios de Amorim of APCOR or the Portuguese Cork Association says he believes that there has been a 30 per-cent reduction in cork output since 2001.

Amorim Cork is the largest producer of the natural stopper, with 3.2 billion produced in 2010. They are also responsible for the creation of ReCork by Amorim. This organization reuses old corks (corks to date 41,220,110) to create footwear with their partner SOLE. This movement also strengthens Portuguese forests by planting more of the protected tree. So far they have planted 8,472 Cork Oak trees in the last several years. ReCork has a number of drop-off locations in Canada, where you can put your cork collection to valuable use.


Obviously a preference exists for wine drinkers everywhere. Depending on your love for convenience or the economy, the stopper choice of a winery my influence your purchase. While cork is essential for aging wines gracefully, screw caps are very handy if you’re planning on opening the bottle as soon as you get home. The ritual, however, of opening a bottle does not have the same effect with a screw cap. Amorim said, “The only argument in favour of screw caps is now convenience. But what you gain in convenience you lose in style.” What is your preference?

Graffiti and wine

A micro-documentary of the 2012 MyFinBEC project where graffiti and street art meet wine. Eight international artists from around the world met in June 2012 to paint on wooden canvases made of 84 wine crates. These paintings were then used as wine labels. Visit to order limited edition wine cases.

No Corkscrew, No Worries



 has great ways to open that wonderful bottle of vino without a corkscrew. And in all honestly, how useful! How many times have we been stranded out camping or on vacation and we don’t have a corkscrew.

It seems funny how it is so easy to forget that corkscrew but we never forget the wine! Wiki describes many ways to open a wine bottle but I think the most convenient and easiest way is the “Hit Method”:

  1. Wrap the bottom of the wine bottle with a towel and place phone book (probably any soft book) against a wall or tree.
  2. Hit the bottom of the bottle against the wall or tree.
  3. The cork should have partially come out, then remove it with your hands.

Some of their other suggestions include: cheap wire coat hanger, 2 paperclips and a pen, finding a bicycle hook, leather bootlace, corn on the cob holder and 5 nails & a hammer. Check it out here, or even let WineCollective know if you have your own way without a corkscrew!

Facebook Contest Winner

WineCollective would like to congratulate Kayla G., on winning our Facebook Photo Contest. Kayla G.’s photo “Relax&UnWind” was selected as a finalist and then went on to receive the most votes to win $150 to WineCollective!

We couldn’t have been more impressed with the photos that were submitted and we would like to thank everyone for participating, either by submitting a photo or voting for their favourite!

Remember, you can like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop with everything that has to do with WineCollective.

Win $150 to WineCollective

Have you ever taken the most awe-inspiring photo of your favourite wine but have no way to show it off? Here is your chance!

We would love to see what photos you have with a glass of vino or anything to do with wine. Be unique, be creative, bring out the photographer in you! The winner will receive a wine package worth up to $150 from WineCollective.

Check out our Facebook page for more details or submit your photos to

Must be legal drinking age. Your own photos and your own creativity.

Photos must be submitted by the 22nd.  Voting starts July 23rd to the 29th, winner will be announced July 30th.

Have fun and drink responsibly!

Tasting Card Makeover

WineCollective‘s tasting cards got a makeover! If you receive a monthly package of great wine from us, you probably have noticed that the tasting cards have been revamped.  We hope you like them as much as we do!

The new design will be easier to store and catalogue. Also, the close-up image of the label will make it easier to find your new favourite bottle at the liquor store.  The online version of the notes have undergone a refresh as well.  We have made it easier to comment and rate the wines you receive, so make sure you tell us what you think!

An unspillable wine glass

saturn wine glasses

Saturn wine glasses – by Christopher Yamane

In ‘saturn wine glasses‘, american art student christopher yamane of fragile studios adapts traditional glassblowing techniques towards the creation of an unspillable drinking glass. the rounded-bottomed, stemless piece features a handblown rim that serves as both fill line as well as a support frame for the glass, preventing it from spilling even when tipped over.

To create the pieces, yamane reappropriates a centuries-old italian glassblowing technique traditionally used
for the production of goblet lids. by folding a bubble of glass, trapping air within it, he creates the ‘saturn ring’
that circumferences the bowl.

Via Design Boom

Concept wine storage cork

This is a pretty cool concept. I could even see using this as a simple temperature gage for when you bring the bottle to the table.

“Winery is a digital bottle stopper with a sensor that goes into the bottleneck and keeps a tab on the wine. It even relays useful information like temperature, expiry date of the wine via WiFi to your smartphone app. Kinda like keeping a digital eye on your drink!”

Designers: Kwang-wi Park and Eun-ji Lim

Via Yanko Design

Our New Packaging

Most people who received their June shipment will have seen our new and improved packaging.  The boxes are essentially the same, but the inserts are custom built for wine shipment by our friends at Beaver Plastics and are made in Canada!

They are made out of EPS (expanded polystyrene) and bear the number 6 recycle number. They are fully recyclable, where facilities exist (each Alberta community is different).

The new shippers are what we call “bullet proof”. We have conducted extensive testing with a number of different alternatives and picked this solution because of its robustness but also its reusability.

We love our packaging and think that beyond just getting your wine to you once a month, it can be usefully reused as well.

  • They are fantastic if you’re going camping or to the cabin. You don’t have to worry about breaking your wine and you have something to store it in on arrival.
  • Bringing wine on a road trip? Can’t ask for a better or more convenient packaging!
  • Also a useful storage unit for around the house (but we wouldn’t recommend aging wine in it)

We’re going to be putting a few videos up on the blog within the next couple of weeks.

Don’t drink and bike

…but why not ride your bike to pickup your wine!

If you like wine and you like biking, you’re going to love this. The handmade leather bicycle wine rack is perfect for taking wine with you on the go. It easily attaches to any 1″ bike frame with antique brass fasteners, while the hidden metal clamps hold the bottle securely. The oil-treated vegetable-tanned leather will only look better as it ages.

Looks good to me, and it only costs $25 from Oopsmark on Etsy.

Fancy wine spout thingers

cork thinger 1

Over at WC HQ we tend to make quite the mess of things during our tastings. Actually who am I kidding, we have practically destroyed kitchen counters with wine stains.


French designer aurélien barbry created his 'wine & bar' series for normann copenhagen.
the series is made predominantly from cork, comprised of three different designs that
combine a stopper and pourer. one of the stoppers imitates the form of a wine glass.

cork thinger 4

cork thinger 5

I'd like to put in the request for some fancy wine pouring thinger things. I think this would help immensely. Now where did I put my credit card!?

*Hat tip to Design Boom on these wine thinger-ma-bobbers.