Wine corks may owe quality to gene activity

Discovery that distinguishes superior stoppers could help reverse global downturn

By Nsikan Akpan, 17:16 PM July 15, 2014

Even the most superb wine won’t last without its cork, but the quality of this renewable oaken resource has nose-dived in recent years. A new genetic study of trees that produce high- and low-quality cork divulges some clues behind this decline, hinting at a possible link to climate change.

A great cork safeguards a wine’s taste and its aging process, while inferior cork can taint the vino’s flavor. Cork is made from the protective outer layer of bark surrounding Quercus suber oak trees, which...

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