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Put a Cork in It

If you were paid a penny for every cork you’ve thrown away, you might be able to buy a new iPhone. If you were a winery and had to pay for all those corks, well, you’d probably shudder. How much does a single cork cost? If you’re a top winery that makes age worthy wines and therefore you buy the best level of corks possible, the answer is at least $1.00 a piece! That’s a lot for a chunk of bark most of us rarely think about for longer than it takes to throw it in the trash. Cork, by the way, is a pretty miraculous substance. Harvested from cork oak trees that today, grow mostly in southern Portugal, cork is impervious to air, almost impermeable by water, difficult to burn, resistant to temperature changes and vibration, does not rot, and has the ability to mold itself to the contour of the container it is put into.

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