Screwcaps vs Corks – the Jury is out
More and more wine producers are starting to bottle their quality wine in screw-cap bottles, as opposed to using traditional cork. For a long time I have resisted using screwcaps, citing two reasons for this.
The first is tradition – it’s all part of the tradition – cutting the capsule, inserting the corkscrew, pulling the cork and hearing the satisfactory pop as the cork slides out of the bottle.
The second is that I because a screwcap seals the bottle of wine very well, it affects the ability of the wine to age, resulting in some premium reds that are meant to age – not aging very much. However some farms report that “Comparing our wines aged under screw caps with the same wine aged under corks there is a difference, but we are very happy to note that wine aged under screw caps is much more consistent.” However, there is a “lack of proper scientific data on how fine wines mature under screwcaps over long periods”.
The jury still seems to be out on this one.
It seems to be that a lot of “easy drinking” wines that are bottled with screw caps, with premium reds predominantly bottled with corks. However some farms are bottling their premium wines in screwcaps, especially in Australia and New Zealand.
However, according to Good Taste, between 3% and 15% of all bottled wine has some degree of TCA, or cork taint, and Winepro mention that this results in approx $10-billion damage to the worldwide wine industry!
According to the BBC, “more than half of wine bottles sold in the UK each year now come with a screw cap. Many producers have switched in the past decade because of concerns about the reliability, and relative inconvenience, of cork.”
While the debate between bottled and screwcap wines is clearly still open, I confess that I have become reluctant convert to screwcap wine, and I realized this the other day, when I was selecting a bottle in my bar fridge to open.
My selection was not based on the cultivar, or the producer, but rather on weather it had a screwcap. Yes, I was looking for a screwcap wine because it is so much easier to open, and you can just screw the cap back on and pop the bottle into the fridge when you have had enough.
And of course, you never have the frustration of going to a picnic, having a really nice bottle of wine, and wondering who packed the corkscrew!
Screwcap vs corks – watch this space!
What is your preference?
Corkscrew image from http://www.fieldandvine.co.uk