Why don’t wine bottles tell you about the cork?


Whenever I try a new brand of wine, I pay attention to the type of cork they use. I’m certainly no wine expert, so my interest in the cork is purely a functional one. In particular, synthetic corks are a pain to get a corkscrew into, and can be nearly impossible to remove from the bottle. Sure, natural corks may crumble a bit, but they’re certainly better than the manufactured alternative.

If I had to guess, most wine buyers do prefer natural corks. However, I’ve never seen a wine bottle that tells you which type of cork is included. And since most of the bottles I see in the store have foil or another wrapping over the top, there’s no way to tell what you’re getting.

This seems like an obvious oversight on the marketing side of things. If many consumers prefer natural corks, and your wine brand uses them, then you should advertise that right on the label. For those people trying to avoid synthetic corks — and I bet there are a lot of us — the extra information will increase the chance they pick your wine over the others. And for consumers who don’t care either way, they’ll just ignore the details about the cork, without any impact on your sales to that group.

If I ran a vineyard that used natural corks, I’d order up a bunch of stickers that show a picture of the cork along with some text like “We use natural corks”. Slap those stickers onto a few cases in select markets, and watch what happens. Once the sales results are in, I suspect that you’d quickly find it worthwhile to include cork info on the label of every wine you sell.