The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: wine

March 8, 2012

Can’t Tell Whether a Wine Bottle Has a Plastic Cork or Real Cork? There’s an App for That!

One of the most frequent requests I get is for a list of wines with natural cork stoppers because most of the time it’s impossible to see what kind of cork a bottle has without opening it up.  When I first started this project, I began keeping a list of wines and what kinds of closures they had, but I quickly realized how futile that exercise was.  There are so many brands of wine, using different closures for different varietals, and sometimes changing their packaging with new bottlings.

So I was beyond excited when I received an email pitch this week about a new website and app — okay, not actually an app but a mobile site you can access via any smartphone — called CorkWatch that lets shoppers look up specific wines to find out what kind of stopper they have.


There are several ways to search.  If you know what kind of wine you want to drink, use the “Wine Type” drop down menu to choose among varietals and styles of wine.  … Read the rest

January 24, 2012

Zero Waste “Jug Sunday” at Sutton Cellars Winery in San Francisco

It should go without saying that I choose wines bottled in glass rather than the new plastic-coated aseptic cartons that are growing in popularity. But glass has its drawbacks too. And wine-related plastic is about more than just the container. Not only do I have to look for wines with natural cork stoppers–as opposed to plastic “corks” or screw caps that are lined inside with plastic–I also have to consider the capsule–that antiquated wrapper around the neck and over the top of the cork. Historically, capsules were made from lead. Nowadays, they are made from tin, heat-shrinked plastic, or a polylaminate material that contains both metal and plastic. So I look for wines without any capsule at all. But although more and more vintners are selling wines capsule-free, they are still hard to come by. So I was happy to discover Sutton Cellars wine at the Paul Marcus Wine Shop right down the street from me.

Sutton Cellars… Read the rest

August 9, 2007

Woman drinks wine, unwittingly threatens endangered animals

I love wine. I really do. And I’ve drunk a fair amount of it during the weeks since I started my plastic project. But it wasn’t until I read this article a couple of days ago that it occurred to me that some of the wine corks I’ve pulled have been made of plastic! And those plastic corks didn’t even make it into my weekly tallies. Good lord, was I drunk or something??? How could I have missed them?

Fortunately, I like to save my wine stoppers, so I was able to pull out my collection and count them up. For the record, there are 31 cork stoppers and 11 plastic stoppers: 26% plastic!

So why are plastic corks, in addition to all the usual plastic problems, threatening endangered animals? Because they compete with natural Mediterranean cork forests, which not only provide humans with stoppers for their various libations, but also provide unique habitat for some of the world’s more unusual creatures, such as the Iberian Imperial … Read the rest