Every time you open a screwcap, a kitten dies!

screwcap glenn beck

It’s almost as if cork producers have hired Glenn Beck to present their $22 million marketing campaign! The campaign, mostly in Britain, links a switch to synthetic wine closures to the decline of the endangered Iberian lynx.

If you are interested in the Iberian lynx, surf over to SOS Lynx. It discusses the causes of their dwindling lynx numbers (chiefly, a decline in wild rabbits and 70% of their natural habitats allowing hunting), a doubling of females in recent years, and how most of Iberian lynx live in Spain, not Portugal, which produces over 50% of the world’s cork.

pixel

37 Responses to “Every time you open a screwcap, a kitten dies!”


  1. Interesting … will have to check out the links to get the full story.


  2. I followed your links. Where is the Glenn Beck video??


  3. My first thought when I saw Glenn Beck was to wonder why anyone would use that idiot for a real cause. Then I read the article though and saw that the World Wildlife Fund is the group behind the concern, a group far more reliable than Glenn Beck (but then I’d probably believe Bernie Maddof before Glenn, so that’s not saying much).

    Anyway, I tend to prefer cork for most anything but the cheapest tier so I can’t say as that anyone has to change my mind.


  4. LOL – I got that same impression from the press release. And how was the fact that the majority of the “supporters” were women relevant in any way to the cause?


  5. What a terrible twist! The cork industry should be embarrassed to have to revert to this type of tactic to sell more of their flawed product. What will they turn to next, cork adds health benefits to the wine being stored within?! Come on folks, play fair!


  6. I occasionally watch Glenn Beck and from what I know of him I don’t think he would be up in arms over this argument of the wildlife group. He typically leans more to the Libertarian beliefs as far as I know unless he has changed recently. I will have to check this clip out, because he often says stuff sarcastically and it gets misunderstood.


  7. […] Every time you open a screwcap, a kitten dies! | Dr Vino’s wine blog. Categories: Uncategorized Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback […]


  8. seriously, where’s the video?


  9. They’ve been using similar tactics in the UK for some years. They forged an alliance some years ago with the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) about the loss of the Bonelli Eagle in Portugal. In order to allow my brother to drink wines sealed with screwcaps, I had to use some strong arguments with my sister-in-law, a bird lover and support of the RSPB, who had read an article about it in the supporter’s magazine.


  10. “It’s ALMOST as if cork producers have hired Glenn Beck….”!? You’re one step away from becoming Andrew Breitbart, turning Glenn Beck into Shirley Sherrod!

    If you don’t like the guy, fine. But at least have some journalism ethics!


  11. Leah – it’s about as relevant as the gender of the winemaker is to the quality of the wine.


  12. There is no video it is a doctored photo.. jeez


  13. My basic point is: if we already have a sustainable way of doing things why not support it an improve it, instead of becoming more and more dependent on oil (plastics) and aluminum? Corks have improved drastically in the last years and will continue to do so if we consumers support it.

    Oh and suggesting the association of this campaign with lunatic Glenn Beck is just wrong and misleading… I expected more from Dr Vino.


  14. […] writers, already about as endangered as the Iberian lynx thanks to the sagging media world (not screwcaps), have something new to fear–automatically […]


  15. Anyone remember this same campaign back in 2002, for example, see here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2609157.stm

    And, how is Miguel doing? did Rob Schneider help save him back in 2009? see here:
    http://www.corkfacts.com/publications/2009mar24pge03.htm

    Any idea how many of those corks you have actually collected or recycled since 2002 LIWSF (by the way, cork is extrememly resistant to heat (incineration) and takes forever to biodegrade!)

    Seriously, those Lynx (whose main home is SPAIN) are still fine! Their total population has actually grown since 2002, all the while natural cork has been losing market share to alternatives. Not to mention these lynx also often kill their own siblings, which does not help survival (hello DARWIN?). But they will likely still be fine in 2012 when you get your next round of EU/portugese funding for the same ‘save our business’ campaign (as if the EU, specifically Spain and Portugal govt’s., don’t have better financing opportunities to be focused on right now!)

    Let animal conservations do their jobs on kittens, and instead learn how to compete on packaging performance for the wine…


  16. “My first thought when I saw Glenn Beck was to wonder why anyone would use that idiot for a real cause.”

    It doesn’t take an eletist genius to tell the truth now does it ? Hah !


  17. “Oh and suggesting the association of this campaign with lunatic Glenn Beck is just wrong and misleading…”

    As opposed to whom, the lunatic Pelosi ?


  18. Everyone knows kittens don’t die from twisting off a screwcap. One kitten dies every time a liberal masterbates.


  19. And boy do I hate kittens! Irony and sarcasm are dead.

    Mrs. Landingham to Leo McGarry,”Ah sarcasm, the grumpy man’s wit.”


  20. anyways, you guys are funny, love you all. Screwcaps are good sure, but if a winery uses a “GOOD” cork, ($.35 or more) it really is the way to go for an outstanding wine.


  21. If they plant eucalyptus trees, they can import koalas, but if they then go back to cork trees a koala will die every time they pop a cork. I guess it’s a lose-lose situation.


  22. Hi all –

    I find the campaign cynical, specious, wrongheaded and in some ways, offensive. Thus I thus wrote a post (and, yes, used photoshop!) to underscore this in a satirical way.

    Forests can be preserved in a variety of ways, foremost among them being made into national parks. Oak trees, which can live for 400 years, do not have to have their bark harvested to provide shade for the lynx as far as I am aware. The lynx population was threatened well before the rise of screwcaps.

    The browbeating of consumers continues on Twitter where Wines of Portugal tweets: “The fashion for the screw cap wines among the middle class is destroying forests and could lead to the extinction…”

    Are wines sealed with cork not also popular with “the middle class”?

    A sincere campaign would focus on how cork is the superior closure, which it is in many ways. Unfortunately for cork producers, the problem of cork taint has led to a significant market share loss in the past decade or two. Laying the guilt on consumers for what stems from a quality control problem seems like a strategy that can result in a great deal of consumer alienation. Perhaps redirect this $22 mln toward R&D?

    Wink- poignant!

    LGC- thanks for the links (lynx?).

    Dave- welcome back. I’m curious if you could elaborate on what you found in this post to be lacking in “journalism ethics.” And perhaps you’d like to share your last name publicly?


  23. What a BS campaign about using cork saves some animal in the forest.
    Question:
    How did those poor animals survive in the forest before the use of cork in bottles and the growth of wines in our culture?
    I cannot believe any intelligent person could buy this line of garbage.
    On a side note, one of the most well-known Napa Valley wine makers told me in a meeting that if he could, he would screw cap every bottle of wine he made including his high end expensive Reserves.
    Nothing bothered him more than to see a Reserve Cabernet, for example, returned because of a bad cork.


  24. I just stumbled on a July 14 article in the Financial Times that treats some of these issues. Here are a few grafs that suggest an alternate direction for the marketing campaign:

    “I don’t think the industry can guarantee 100 per cent elimination of TCA,” says Mr Amorim. “But we have achieved great improvements over the past 10 years, which have been recognised by international experts and consumers. Even our most ferocious critics have had to acknowledge the significant advances we have made.”

    Questions have also begun to be raised concerning technical problems with both plastic stoppers and screw caps, he says, to the point where he now believes “the debate over cork stoppers and synthetic closures is no longer about a technical issue”. “Every market study shows that consumers prefer cork,” he says. “There’s a preference for tradition and natural products. A recent study in California showed that sales of wine with cork stoppers were growing faster than wine in the same price category using synthetic closures.”

    Cork stoppers have also become competitive in terms of price, he says. “The price a bottle of wine with a cork stopper is on average slightly more expensive. But the cost of cork stoppers for wine producers can range from two euro cents to two euros each, compared with between five and seven euro cents for an artificial closure.”

    Plastic closures are now losing market share to cork stoppers and screw caps, he says. “The only argument in favour of screw caps is now convenience. But what you gain in convenience you lose in style.”

    Style–now that’s an element that could resonate a lot better with consumers than shame.

    Maybe do an ad like the Mac guy and the PC guy where the guy pulling the cork hears a pop and the guy with the screwcap hears an unsatisfying twist?

    Or do hire Wieden & Kennedy to do something akin to the Old Spice ads, which P&G has paid $20 million for this year, the same as the cork budget.

    There are so many, less cynical, marketing options!

    Also, TCA may be reduced but it is not eliminated as evidenced by the list of corked wines at Bar Boulud in the last three months.


  25. George Taber the author of “Judgment at Paris” wrote a book on closures called “To Cork or Not To Cork.” If this subject interests you than I suggest you find it.


  26. “I find the campaign cynical, specious, wrongheaded and in some ways, offensive.” Well, Mr. Coleman is not known for his subtlety. And neither am I. There is nothing cynical about arguing for the preservation of a culture. There is nothing specious about noting, as the ‘campaign’ does, that there exists a biodiversity specific to cork forests. There is nothing wrongheaded about noting the 1000s of folks employed in the Portuguese cork industry.

    What is offensive is to reduce an entire discussion to a single issue, that of the lynx. This is Mr. Coleman’s ‘Glenn Beck moment’. Not APCOR’s. The cork industry’s multiple arguments are far more detailed and nuanced than Mr. Coleman would have his faithful readers consider. Indeed, I find it amusing that Mr. Coleman’s comment in this thread is at least twice as long as his initial post.

    There is a thriving, entertaining, and informative debate circulating on the internet around cork versus synthetic versus screwcap. My suggestion to Mr. Coleman would be use at least the same amount of time he spends playing with PhotoShop to provide useful, productive links so that his readership might become better informed. His ‘man shouts at cloud’ approach does nothing more than shutter thought.

    I also suggest he brush up on his principles of forestry management. Why is it our national parks each summer suffer conflagrations?


  27. […] a bottle of wine in a screw cap is in fact doing just that… well, it's just plain dumb. Dr. Vino's blog yesterday pointed out this fact in a much more amusing […]


  28. I hate kittens.

    Ken, who is this Mr. Coleman you keep bringing up?


  29. […] a bottle of wine in a screw cap is in fact doing just that… well, it's just plain dumb. Dr. Vino's blog yesterday pointed out this fact in a much more amusing […]


  30. […] than scaring you about the Iberian lynx, some cork enthusiasts have put out a video to try to save…foxes? Foxes and forests? Bottles […]


  31. It amazes me the lengths to which cork producers will go in order to sustain an industry that is fast-dying due to its product being both antiquated and, when compared to its screw cap counterpart, largely ineffectual.

    I agree with Dr. Vino:

    “Laying the guilt on consumers for what stems from a quality control problem seems like a strategy that can result in a great deal of consumer alienation.”

    Thank you for an interesting read.

    Paul Kalemkiarian
    President, Wine of the Month Club


  32. […] roll out their $22 million promotional campaign. Their current ad is even worse than the one about killing kittens. In the video, a woman jumps on top of a man because he brought a wine closed with a cork harvested […]


  33. It amazes me the lengths to which cork producers will go in order to sustain an industry that is fast-dying due to its product being both antiquated and, when compared to its screw cap counterpart, largely ineffectual.

    I agree with Dr. Vino:

    “Laying the guilt on consumers for what stems from a quality control problem seems like a strategy that can result in a great deal of consumer alienation.”

    Thank you for an interesting read.

    Paul Kalemkiarian
    President, Wine of the Month Club
    http://www.wineofthemonthclub.com


  34. […] cork marketers, take note! Permalink | Comments (9) | | TV and movies This entry was posted on Wednesday, […]


  35. […] a bottle of wine in a screw cap is in fact doing just that… well, it's just plain dumb. Dr. Vino's blog yesterday pointed out this fact in a much more amusing […]


  36. […] a bottle of wine in a screw cap is in fact doing just that… well, it’s just plain dumb. Dr. Vino’s blog yesterday pointed out this fact in a much more amusing […]


  37. […] al tema, este vídeo de Dr.Vino seguro que te despierta una sonrisa, o este enlace a algunas de las locuras que se han llegado a decir sobre los tapones de rosca y su relación con el medio ambiente y la extinción del lince. CompárteloCorreo electrónicoLike […]


winepoliticsamz

Wine Maps


Classes

My next NYU wine classes: NYU

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

See my op-eds in the NYT
"Drink Outside the Box"
"Red, White, and Green"

Highlights

Monthly Archives

Categories


Blog posts via email


@drvino








Wine industry jobs

quotes

One of the “fresh voices taking wine journalism in new and important directions.” -World of Fine Wine

“His reporting over the past six months has had seismic consequences, which is a hell of an accomplishment for a blog.” -Forbes.com

"News of such activities, reported last month on a wine blog called Dr. Vino, have captivated wine enthusiasts and triggered a fierce online debate…" The Wall Street Journal

"...well-written, well-researched, calm and, dare we use the word, sober." -Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher, WSJ

jbf07James Beard Foundation awards

Saveur, best drinks blog, finalist 2012.

Winner, Best Wine Blog

One of the "seven best wine blogs." Food & Wine,

One of the three best wine blogs, Fast Company

See more media...

ayow150buy

Wine books on Amazon: