Why Are We Still Debating The Merits Of Cork Vs. Screw Cap Closures For Wine?

Posted: Dec 03, 2021

Each week, I’m likely to open numerous bottles of wine for tastings, wine appreciation courses or educational seminars as well as ones to enjoy with dinner or a movie.

Most instances see me alternating between a corkscrew to cut the capsule on the neck of the bottle before extracting the cork stopper or cracking open a screw cap closure with a twist of the wrist. (On occasion, there’s one of those unusual Vinolok glass closures introduced by a German company in 2004.)

I don’t often register which bottles use which closure unless there’s something unusual. Last week, it was twisting off the top of a red wine from Italy that had an appellation certification band affixed to its aluminum capsule. Laws have allowed Italian producers in some of the country’s top winemaking regions to use screw caps since 2012, but they’re comparatively rare, which is why I paused as I opened Le Orme Barbera d’Asti 2018 from Michele Chiarlo.

While preparing for a masterclass on the evolution of Argentina’s wine industry, I was struck that all four wines, one white and three reds, had corks. (Turns out, three were natural cork stoppers, one was a plastic alternative.) While there’s been significant innovation and development in many aspects of the country’s wine trade, it’s staunchly traditional when it comes to bottling its wines.

Industry estimates suggest that screw caps are used on roughly one-third of the wines produced around the world each year, but the acceptance of twist-off closures for premium wine varies by country. In Australia and New Zealand, it’s difficult to find wines of all styles and price points sold with anything but a screw cap. In Italy, Spain and Portugal, cork reigns across the board.

Author: Christopher Waters
Date: November 3, 2021
Source and Complete Article: theglobeandmail.com

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