Mr Grumpy: cork weevil

Mr Grumpy. (Photo: The Real Review)

The first sign of an unwelcome visitor in my wine cellar was half-a-dozen leaky bottles.

I blamed a few dodgy corks or poor storage conditions (a partly underground storage room that peaks at around 20oC). Choosing the leakiest bottle for the dinner table I discovered what looked like borer dust under the capsule and borer holes in the cork.

The cork moth lays its eggs not only on cork but also on moist wine casks in dark, dank cellars.

That made sense. I’d used pine ABC crates to store some of my older bottles and had noted a borer infestation that seemed to be getting worse.

It was time to act. The crates went to the dump and I, with the help of family and friends, drank all the leaky bottles. I thought about fumigating the storage room but decided against such drastic action in case it tainted the wine.

Most of my wine is in temperature-controlled cabinets at 14 oC. A quick visual check failed to find any leakers or borer dust.

I searched the Internet and uncovered this interesting piece of information.

“Nemapogon cloacellus is found mainly in the spring and early summer. The moth grows to a length of 7.5 mm and has a wingspan of 10 to 14 mm. The cork moth lays its eggs not only on cork but also on moist wine casks in dark, dank cellars. The caterpillars of this moth species are also called cork worms.”

Is this yet another good reason to stick to screwcaps?


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