Surveying the scene before you on your kitchen counters, you see evidence of last night’s dinner party: plates stacked and ready for the dishwasher, the former cloth swans now a pile of dirty napkins, wine bottles lined up for the recycling bin. The corks, from said bottles also dot the counter, waiting for you to do whatever it is you do with corks.
So, what do you do with corks? Throwing them away is one option, but in an era when the mention of the Three Rs brings Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to mind before Reading wRiting and aRithmetic, there are other, more environmentally friendly ways to deal with this waste of teh spent stoppers.
Let’s start with Reduce. Well, who am I to judge? Certainly I’m not going to tell you to reduce your wine consumption, I'm a wine columnist! And I’m not even going to tell you to reduce the amount of wine you buy with natural cork closures in favor of buying more with screwcap or plastic plugs – that’s a different story for another time (look for it in the next couple months). Assuming we’re all happy with the amount of corks we’re popping, onto the next R we go.
The beauty of embracing the idea of Reuse is the creativity it inspires. I’ve seen corks used as place card holders, turned into art (the stained ends arranged together in such a way to make an image like some kind of macro-pointillism and of course there’s always sculpture). I've seen them used in science experiments with kids. A quick Internet search later, I’ve now seen a truck covered in cork and chairs made from old corks that beg to be tried at least once.
Clearly, there is not a lack of ways in which corks can be reused.
But for those of you who don’t have that artsy-craftsy gene, there still remains the final R: Recycle. Recently Woodinvile winery Gard Vintners partnered with ReCork by Amorim to offer the public a drop-off location for cork recycling.
“Gard Vintners launched its cork recycling program this spring as an earth-friendly extension of our sustainable vineyard management practices. With glass recycling readily available in the Seattle metropolitan area, we felt that the cork recycling program would be a great way to contribute to a "green" cause that isn't currently well supported in the community,” said Lisa Lawrence of Gard Vintners.
We can thank cork’s many profitable uses for the existence of a large-scale recycling program. The collected corks are chipped up and then used in the production corkboards, flooring, placemats ando other products that benefit from cork’s natural properties.
“One thing we really liked about the cork recycling program is the tangible outcome of seeing what wine corks can be used for, such as shoe components, fishing rod handles, and flooring tiles to name a few,” Lisa said.
So as you clean your counters, instead of gathering up the scattered corks and tossing them in the garbage, set out a pretty vase or Cork Cage (look for them when you’re out wine tasting) and start collecting them to reuse yourself or drop off at Gard Vintners. I say treat yourself to a tasting when you do and raise your glass to keeping one more useful thing out of landfills.
Here’s Woodinville Patch’s Guide to this week’s Events, May 6 – May 12
- Goose Ridge Estate Winery, 2010 riesling
- Pondera Winery, 2010 rosé
- Silver Lake Winery, Girly Girl wines, Leone Port
- Woodinville Wine Cellars, 2008 Double Vision
Saturday, May 7
- , 12280 Northeast Woodinville Dr., hosts the popular Art of Blending class on Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the newly remodeled tasting room. Winemaker Mark Newton will demonstrate blending on the spot and then assist you in making your own blend. The class costs $50 per person and includes one 750 ml bottle of your custom blend to take home (additional bottles $30 each). Space is limited for this popular event, RSVP in advance by phone (425) 487-1648 or online.
- , 14450 Woodinville Redmond Rd, will be hosting a live broadcast of Socially Savvy, a new interactive show on BlogTalkRadio. LB Dutchess and co-hosts will be in the tasting room doing on-air tastings and giving away swag bags starting at 5:30 p.m. Wine specials will be available as well.
Mother’s Day Events
Saturday, May 7
- , 14450 Woodinville Redmond Rd, invites you to bring your mom, sisters and friends for a glass of wine and to look through Stella and Dot’s Spring/Summer line of jewelry from noon – 4 p.m. Mothers receive 10% off all wine purchases and the chance to win door prizes.
- , 19501 144th Avenue NW Suite D300, is open Saturday and Sunday 1 – 5 p.m. in honor of mom. Wine will be paired with specialty truffles and you’ll find a selection of handbags on sale as well. Passports welcome.
Sunday, May 8
- , 14421 Woodinville-Redmond Rd NE, is cutting the tasting fee in half for moms in the Carriage House tasting room from noon – 4:30 p.m.
- , 14450 Woodinville Redmond Road NE, Suite 108, invites moms to spend some of Mother’s Day relaxing in its tasting room from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. You’ll be able to taste the brand new 2010 riesling and if you show a picture of your kids, they’ll comp your tasting and give you 10% off your purchase.
- , 16116 140th Pl NE Woodinville, is treating moms to a complimentary tasting from 1 – 6 p.m., just bring a picture of your kids.
- Patterson Cellars, 19501 144th Avenue NE, Suite D600, is celebrating Mother’s Day with chocolate pairings in the tasting room from noon – 5 p.m.
- , 15029 Woodinville-Redmond Rd, is serving up a Mother’s Day Brunch and offering moms special discounts. For $10 you’ll receive a tasting flight of new releases and a light brunch from noon – 2 p.m.
Tasting Room Happenings
- is offering their complete portfolio of winery-only offerings for tasting during the month of May. Wednesday – Sunday noon – 5 p.m.
- has set up picnic tables on the lawn outside the tasting room and invites you to bring your own picnic or enjoy a gourmet hot dog or sausage available for purchase from G & G Hot Dogs on Saturday and Sunday the first three weeks of May.
Friday, May 6
- , 14450 Woodinville-Redmond Road, Suite 109, is giving away asparagus fresh from the family farm with any purchase of four or more bottles of wine this Friday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- , 14111 NE 145th Street, hosts a book signing by local chef and author Lisa Dupar from 5 – 7 p.m. Bring your own copy of Lisa’s cookbook or pick one up while you are there.
- and Canon de Sol, 14450 Woodinville Redmond Road NE Suites 108 and 107, kick off their Summer Concert Series with Dean Backholm and specials on wine by the glass and bottle from 7 – 9 p.m. No cover charge.
- , 16116 140th Pl NE, hosts Friday Night Live from 7 – 9 p.m. featuring music by local musician Andrew Chaplin and complimentary appetizers. Glass pours begin at $6.
- , 19501 144th Ave NE, Suite B400, is releasing its 2010 rosé. Only 30 cases of this pretty pink wine were made so get yours quickly. Friday 5 – 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon – 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 7
- , 14465 Woodinville-Redmond Road, invites you to join in the Spring Release Weekend celebration on Saturday and Sunday noon – 5 p.m. This is a wine club open house event open to the public as space allows so pop in while you’re visiting nearby wineries. You’ll taste through the complete new line-up and see what it means to party Dusted Valley style.
- , 19501 144th Ave NE, Suite D700, is offering free bistro fare in the tasting room.
- , 15029 Woodinville-Redmond Rd, is celebrating the release of new vintages of Girly Girl wines. Enjoy great food, all four Girly Girl wines and the newly released Leone Port from 11 – 5 p.m. Saturday and noon – 5 p.m. Sunday. This event costs $10 per person.
- , 17721 132nd Ave NE, is introducing its first cabernet sauvignon and syrah blend. This inaugural release will be paired with specially prepared meats from Bill the Butcher from noon – 6 p.m.
Sunday May 8
- , 19495 144th Ave NE, Suite A100, hosts a bottling party for the Bishop’s Blend and Bad Habit at the winery. Stop by and taste them the day they’re bottled, see how the bottling process works and “adopt” some to take home at a discount. You can also taste the other current releases with no tasting fee from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wednesday, May 11
- , 15608 NE Woodinville-Duvall Pl, hosts its weekly Wine Wednesday from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. This week Ross Andrew Winery is featured and will be pouring four wines total, two of which are unreleased. Come get a sneak taste and enjoy classic Italianissimo appetizers for $15.