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 know that wine corks are recyclable, but how do I recycle them? They probably don't get recycled properly if I just chuck them in the recycling bin with the paper, glass and plastic, right?
—Lexi, New York
Synthetic corks and screwcaps can go straight into the recycling bin. For natural cork, you’ll need to recycle them elsewhere. Or you can do what I do and put your natural corks in your compost bin.
There are companies that collect natural wine corks and then turn them into anything from shoes and bags to flooring. The two biggest companies, ReCork and Cork Forest Conservation Alliance, have drop-off locations, searchable online by zip code. If you don’t live anywhere near a drop-off site, you can mail your corks (free of charge!) to CorkClub.
If you’re a crafty person, there are all kinds of projects you can make with used wine corks, including wreaths, trivets and corkboards. If you’d like to simply display them, there are myriad options, from accent tables to decorative wall displays.