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Recycle those old corks

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I always enjoy those blog posts and articles that offer silly ideas about how to recycle all those old wine corks.

Really, how many wine cork trivets, bathmats and Christmas tree ornaments does one want?

I've seen some pretty impressive art pieces that use up thousands of corks. One fellow built a boat out of corks. I'm not sure how far he got in it.

My favorite seems to make the most sense, but everyone tells me I shouldn't do it. I reuse best quality corks to stopper my own wine. I use the two-prong style of cork puller to open a store-bought wine without puncture. When bottling my own wine, I boil the recycled corks in a weak sulfite solution. I've had very few problems.

Here's another favorite use, although you won't use many corks this way. I wedge three or four old corks beneath the handle of the lids on my commercial cookware. The corks don't transfer the heat and prevent lots of burnt fingers when cooking. I can't take full credit for this idea. The first example I saw was on an aluminum pot lid I found in a thrift store.

Personally, I think screw tops are the best way to preserve wine. But they're not nearly as much fun as a cork.

Check out this site for some creative ideas.