The debate about the problems associated with traditional wine corks will get another airing at this year's London International Wine Fair. The Wine and Spirit Association has been investigating the issue and is hoping to be able to reveal its results at the event in May. This follows acrimonious claim and counterclaim at last year's show. Despite all the hype the synthetic alternatives have gained only limited acceptance. They have been on the market since the early '90s but so far have only 2% of a world market of 14 billion corks. Meanwhile winemakers and supermarket buyers have been concerned about lost sales caused by cork taint and have been looking at the potential of alternatives. Australia is the largest market for the new technology and leading players such as Southcorp and Rosemount have used synthetics extensively. "If synthetics could win 8% of the market this would represent massive growth," said Supreme Corq's marketing manager Brooke Hilton. "The winemakers have taken the concept on board and the wine buyers are the ones who have been pushing for the issue to be opened up. "Now we need to talk to the people who can convince the consumers that synthetics are a realistic alternative to cork." She said the onus was on the cork industry to prove that it had solved its problems. {{DRINKS }}

Topics