Where have all the corkscrews gone

by Kathleen Dennis
May 17, 2012
Musings

Hello, wine lovers! Have you noticed the latest swarm of screw caps on wine bottles lately? Last I checked, a screw cap meant cheap, inferior wine. In fact, I recall many instances of staring at a wall of wine bottles, excited with the prospect of trying something new and different... deliberating amongst region, year, grape varietal (with my, at the time, limited knowledge of each)... all the while intentionally avoiding the dreaded screw caps. My choices were only sometimes a "win", regardless.

A few social hurdles later, the screw cap made its presence with most New Zealand wines, and about 75% of Australian wines. Now the U.S. and France are toying with the cap as well. So, why the sudden cork conversion? Well, the long-lived natural cork actually has some inherent flaws. TCA (2, 4, 6-Trichloroanisole) is used to sanitize the natural cork before bottling. This can alter the wine's taste a bit, leaving out some of its fruity goodness. The immediate replacement was a synthetic cork, derived from plastic, but these can't hold off oxidation for too long. Thus, the screw cap is a decidedly perfect seal, eliminating one's fear of flavorless wine and oxygen permeation.

Oh, but the romantic process of opening a bottle of corked wine. There's something so lovely about our little wine rituals... uncorking a medium bodied red, pouring out a tad into your favorite, long stemmed glass, waiting for it to breathe while you clean your entire kitchen and perhaps organize your coupon drawer... Unless you're a server at an upscale restaurant, your frequency of opening wine bottles is likely limited to merely once a day.

Right? Nope, just me?

Then again, one of my favorite "go-to" wines is a Shiraz with an extremely convenient screw cap.


Next BlogIt's hip to be square
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