Burgundy World

Not so screwy

Screw caps on wine can make sense
Published:  August 13, 2011

Here's a very interesting Oregon wine research blog on the merits of screw-caps, particularly for bottling young wine. The author goes into some depth to explain how various chemical and other issues are overcome to ensure the wine in the bottle stays good.

Even in Burgundy, screw-caps are racing in for young, drink-soon wines, though cork still dominates. I prefer screw-caps than, say, plastic corks. First, if ageing is not an issue for your wine, then screw-caps are more practical (eg for ordinary thirst-quenching whites, rosés, etc). Second, you see what you are buying with a screw-cap; there is nothing more disappointing than buying a red for, say, 10-15 euros and then discovering it has a plastic cork (and therefore not for ageing anyway).

A lot of Italian reds use black plastic corks, even for wines that really could be aged for a few years. The plastic cork really does not help, and even seems to affect the flavour and bouquet by smothering the wine and locking in sterile flavours. You'll notice this especially with reds, but even with whites you may detect a slight annoying zangy, alcohol fizz that should not be confused with that lemony fizz you can get with some youthful frizzante whites.

Plastic corks are popular for for younger drinking whites in France too, but maybe screw-caps should become the norm .

Anyway, over to the Oregon experts for more on why:


@Roiroux August 2011

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