Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Put a Cork in the Propoganda - Please!

I wrote recently about the Portuguese Cork Association's (APCOR) continued attempts to promote cork through what I believe to be deceptive information and (mis)use of surveys that they are sponsoring. Apparently, what they are doing is working now that producers in 11 of Spain's Catalan D.O. regions will be prevented from using synthetic closures.

I should point out that I don't mind corks at all, in fact I have no real preference one way or the other. However, I dislike deceptive tactics like this example from yesterday's press release:

"A 2005 closure survey by the Wine Spectator showed 81% of those questioned in an internet survey preferred cork closures compared to 18% who preferred screw caps." - This doesn't distinguish between synthetic(plastic) corks and natural corks, it only refers to screwcaps. This tells us absolutely nothing about whether consumers prefer natural or synthetic corks. Next!

"In 2004, Wine Intelligence, a leading international wine industry consultancy, conducted a major survey of American consumer attitudes to two types of seal, cork stoppers and aluminum capsules (screw caps). Two thirds of the respondents thought it was positive to buy wine with a cork stopper, 52% rejected aluminum capsules and only 1% said they did not like to drink wine sealed with a cork." - Ah, but 48% of those polled accepted aluminum closures. Again, this survey does not distinguish between natural and synthetic and even then, combined cork preference was minimal (particularly if you consider the sampling error which may have been 3% or more!).

How about this from a survey created by Supreme Corq? Clearly, this is equally biased:

"The research, conducted by Wine Intelligence of Britain, showed that 93 percent of wine-drinking consumers are either positive or indifferent to the change from natural cork to synthetic cork." - Its all in how you ask the question and what your goal is, isn't it?

"The research also confirmed that 31 percent of wine-drinking consumers perceive the change from natural cork to screw cap as negative." - HA! Yes, it sure is all in how you ask the question (Supreme Corq makes synthetic corks, but not screwcaps!) and what your goals are!!!


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