Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I have decorative Christmas-themed cork bottle stoppers. How do I keep the corks moist all year when not in a bottle?
—Jean M., Hollywood, Calif.
Friends have given me decorative cork stoppers over the years and, unfortunately, once a cork dries out, it doesn’t rehydrate. I’ve heard of some people trying to soak or boil corks, but one of cork’s qualities is that it is waterproof, so it’s unlikely that either of these things will make a difference. Once it dries out, cork cells break down and cannot be revived.
If you’re having trouble fitting a cork stopper into a bottle, you can apply a thin coating of mineral oil or a food grade wax on the outside, which might help.