Cork QR Code update

update: a reader has sent in a version with even higher contrast saying it works best:


So hopefully we’re getting somewhere!

black and white qr code made with wine corks

Scan Me


A lot of people had trouble scanning the QR code I made out of wine corks so I made some modifications to help it become more scannable.

Hopefully this version works a bit better.  Thanks to Robert McIntosh for the excellent idea of desaturating the photo and increasing the contrast.  And then making it smaller tends to help too.  But not toooo small.

black and white qr code made with wine corksAnyway, here’s the finished black and white QR code made out of wine corks.  Although, I must confess I like it much more in color!

Please let me know if it’s working or not.

It scans perfectly on my phone with Quick QR Reader, but then so did the original in color.  And people say it works on Android and it works on iPhone!

But then some very competent people are telling me it won’t scan on their iPhones/Androids/etc. so I am sure it could be improved.  Probably variations due to QR Code Reading App, monitor settings, how much you’ve had to drink, etc.

Naturally, it’s more likely to work if you’ve had a glass of wine.  Which is why it works every time for me. 🙂



finished wine cork qr code at an angle


update: after hearing that the qr code didn’t scan properly on all phones, I made a black and white version that should be easier to scan!  second update: most people are reporting that it works with certain QR code readers (presumably those with better error correction)

I made a QR code out of wine corks.  I painstakingly placed the 25×25 grid (and then added a frame) so that the QR code uses over 625 corks.  Each of them placed by hand wine side up or wine side down to represent the black or white of the QR code.  Yes, pruning is so boring that I’d rather sit in and play an overly complicated game of wine cork dominos.  🙂

What is this?  Why did I make a qr code out of wine corks?

A QR Code is like a two dimensional bar code.  Most smartphones have applications that can scan these and interpret the data.  Frequently, as in the case of this QR code, it will be a link to a website.  In this case, it links you to the website where iPhone users can download an app called Wine Demon.

Normally QR codes look sort of boring.  This is the original QR code that I decided to replicate:  Scan Me

I’ve been working on doing artistic designs and patterns with corks for a while and this seemed like a perfect application for it.

Why link to Wine Demon?

I thought about making a QR code that linked to this very website or my other blog, Love That Languedoc, but on a whim I decided to link to Wine Demon.  Actually, I’ve been meaning to announce some big news on the blog.  I’m taking a sabbatical from O’Vineyards to continue my wine education  and hunt out new business opportunities in California.  This is a surprising move and a lot of people are harrassing me for details, but I cannot say yet.  However, this QR code is a small hint.

That said, even if I had second thoughts about what to link to… it took me two hours to line up the 600+ corks and I don’t feel like redoing it any time soon. 🙂

Attribution – Creative Commons – Share alike

Please please please share this image and this idea with all of your friends.  But please also mention me.  If you use this particular QR code or if you decide to make your own QR code out of wine corks, I would greatly appreciate a small attribution for the concept.  Just link to and you will make my day. 🙂

Making the wine cork QR code

Basically, this QR code is a 25×25 grid where each square is either white or black.  I drew out the grid on paper and then used a single cork for each square in the grid.

It turns out that the squares in the corners are the most important part.  When a smart phone scans those corners successfully, it knows it’s looking at a QR code and then it can make a lot of assumptions to correct for errors.  But if it doesn’t get those corner squares, then it won’t know to run the error-correcting calculations.  So make sure the squares are perfect.  Also, I ended up putting a frame of white corks around the whole thing, mostly to make the squares stand out more for the phone reader.  This made a big difference and I recommend it to anybody trying to replicate this project.

Here are some photos of the process.


wine corks sorted by saturation and hue

For all the O’CD O’Vineyards-fans, I’m posting some pictures of a cork project I have in the works.

After seeing somebody make a beautiful portrait out of corks, I started tinkering with the idea of doing small framed panoramas of the Cité de Carcassonne with O’Vineyards corks.

Here’s the original video that I saw where somebody makes a portrait out of wine corks:

The first step seemed to be to collect and organize the corks. I decided to sort them by color in a box. Well, they’re all red-hued, so it might be more accurate to say that I organized them by level of saturation. Anyway, the box looked pretty cool when I was done classifying them all.

corks sorted by color

This is 120 corks which turned out to be way too few to make a meaningful image.  I struggled for about an hour to make something aesthetically pleasing with about twice this number of corks.  It was just not happening.  I did find an alternative though so we do have a pretty new project after I take some nice photos.

But even if this turned out to be something of a waste of time, the process of sorting the corks was fun.  And I figured somebody would appreciate the first step of this project on its own obsessive compulsive merits.


o'vineyards corks sorted by color

You’ve probably heard people argue about wine bottle closure.  Cork vs. screwtop.  Real cork or synthetic cork.  Bottle vs amphorae. People rage on about technical sounding concepts like TCA and Stelvins and all kinds of crazy advanced crap.  Arguments can employ precise percentages from comprehensive studies or anecdotal evidence from last night’s dinner.  People get really passionate about it too.  REALLY REALLY passionate.

Well I’ve kept silent long enough.  I need to make a confession.

The secret origin of the wine closure debate: I made it all up to distract people while I drank all their wine.  Sorry, guys.

The Creation of the Wine Closure Debate

One night, we were sitting around and there was only one glass left in the bottom of the last bottle of wine.  And everybody was too polite to pour it for themselves.  Or to afraid to be caught.  So I devised a cunning plan.

I told everybody about the advantages and disadvantages of cork closures as well as synthetic and screwtop closures.  I engineered these descriptions to cater to the political and philosophical tendencies of different people in the room.  And then I set them up to argue uselessly about which one is “better”.  While the argument ensued, I poured the last of the wine in my own glass.  My plan had worked.

the wine closure debate is a hoax designed to distract people while I drink all the wine

But the plan worked too well.  The argument was supposed to distract my friends for a few minutes while I snuck the last glass.  But it lasted ten minutes. Then thirty minutes. Then… it never ended.

Friends, stop arguing.  I know it will be hard to forgive my mischief and trickery. But I had to come clean so that you knew the truth.  You can’t drink wine and argue about bottle closures at the same time.

How to find us

Domaine O’Vineyards, located in the North Arrondissement of Carcassonne, is just minutes from the Carcassonne train station, the Medieval City, and the Carcassonne Airport.
GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387

Wine, Dine, Relax at our Boutique Vineyard
Unique thing to do in Carcassonne
Wine Cellar. Winery Visits. Wine Tasting.
Wine & Food Pairing

North Arrondissement of Carcassonne
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910

  1. Best by GPS.
    Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou using the D118. At the end of the last straight part of D118, you will come to a roundabout with the Dyneff gas station.
  2. Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
  3. Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which curves up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire on the left.
  4. At the last juction, bear left. the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
  5. After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.