For a long time screw tops have been subjected to a great deal of unfair criticism and wrongfully villainized as exclusively for cheap poor-tasting wines. However, this is far from the truth!
While with certain wines cork has its advantages, especially with long-term aging and allowing the wine to breathe. However, the quality of corks varies widely from winery to winery and up to 3% of bottles can be effected by TCA Cork taint. Additionally, if you travel to Australia or New Zealand (or just enjoy wines produced there) you’ll notice most bottles have screw caps (with over 90% of the bottles from New Zealand). Even some exceptional Sancerre and Chablis in France are now bottled under screw cap (such as Domaine Laroche). Many great wines come with screw cap enclosures and this comes with its own host of benefits….
- It is cheaper for the winemaker and often this savings gets passed on to you (good corks can cost over $3 a piece).
- Some studies have shown that a wine can still be long-term aged with good results, even with a screw cap.
- They can be opened with no extra tools and are thus very convenient (think the beach, picnic, outdoor event, etc. etc.). They can also easily be resealed and thrown in the fridge to help keep a bottle nice and fresh.
- The wine cannot be ruined by harmful TCA cork taint (a chemical that ruins the flavor and aromas of wine)
- You can impress your friends but showing and explaining to them that a screw top doesn’t mean you’re being cheap or have a bad wine palate 😉