Not sure why but there are some conflicting things I’ve read. Maybe someone can answer this. I’m pretty sure in the Taylor Made AK guide Bob says to not use corks when bottling your sake. I also recall Fred Eckhardt saying that winemakers can use corks and wine bottles for their saké. One thing I recall is some talk about oxygen. If corks aren’t ideal, why? I thought at one point I had seen a commercial sake with wine (cork) packaging. Also, has anyone seen or tasted Texas Saké? Looks like they are using T style cork or synthetic stoppers. Any thoughts? I think I’m going to order some.
Natural corks are porous, which means they would let small amounts of oxygen into the bottle over time. Not only that, but their porous nature also means they won’t form a vacuum seal when you pasteurize your bottled sake. Therefore, natural corks are not a good option for sealing sake bottles, especially for long term storage (i.e. more than 6 months).
Synthetic corks are another matter. They are not porous, so they don’t have the oxygen permeability problems that natural corks do. There is still some risk that they could get sucked into the bottle by vacuum when sealing hot sake bottles, but synthetic T corks would avoid that issue.
Yeah, corks are for breathing. I’ve had some excellent corked sake from Japan but the cork was foil wrapped on the inside. Not sure why they bothered corking at all.
I was thinking about bottle closures recently and have concluded that screw caps are probably the best way to go. Almost zero oxidation potential and low failure rate. They are also easy to install, open and close. Second best would be O2 absorbing crown caps.