Recycling used corks from wine bottles

By Anders Wright gives you a new way to make wine drinking green

Shortly after the last edition of Bottle Rocket was published, a publicist reached out to me. That isn't unusual—I hear from publicists every day—but this one, Wendy Wolf, pointed me toward, an organization whose sole purpose is to recycle used corks from wine bottles.

The group is based in Portugal, which happens to be the world's largest provider of wine corks. And it got me thinking. See, I'm one of those eat-and buy-local food geeks who frequent farmers markets. I like my meat and fish to be locally harvested and sustainable. I get my eggs from some people in my neighborhood, and I reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.

And I drink a lot of wine, but more often than not, I simply toss the cork in the trash once the bottle is empty, which seems ridiculous, considering how thrilled I was the day I learned that San Diego had started recycling yogurt and cottage-cheese containers.

Point is, a little education goes a very long way, and, already, I've started stashing my corks. So should you. has a list of drop-off locations. Or you can always contact the California Wine Club, which will send you a postage-paid mailer for yours.

The deal is this: As the corks are recycled, that will provide funding for new cork trees. Plus, dorm rooms need bulletin boards, and you're probably more than happy to overpay for sandals made from recycled products.

Drink local

I'm a fan of Foxen, the solar-powered winery in Santa Maria—so much so that I bought my father-in-law one of their baseball caps the last time I was up that way. They're doing a wine tasting at Cucina Urbana on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Your $25 gets you some snacks and five tastes. These things often sell out, so reserve your space ahead of time. 

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