During warm spring days drinking wine with friends, no other closure offers such ease in opening for a thirsty crowd as the screw cap. Not only are screw caps easier to open but they are also much easier to reseal.
The screw cap has been around since the 1960s when a French company, Le Bouchage Mécanique, introduced the Stelvin bottle topper to the wine world. Despite its over 50 years long existence, not everyone has embraced it, in fact, the sight of it can be polarizing to some wine drinkers.
Cork closures have been used to seal wine since at least the 17th century when glass manufacturing became more uniform which ensured a tighter fit. Prior to this, wine was typically shipped in clay vessels or oak barrels which resulted in varying levels of spoilage from oxidation. Corks have now enjoyed a good four hundred year run as the wine world’s preferred bottle sealer.
Screw cap closures made their 20th century debut with less expensive wines, and that reputation of a cheaper product still exists today though many higher end winemakers have embraced them as well. At the beginning of the new millennium, Australia and New Zealand made a push to start to use screw caps across their wine industry to protect their product from bad corks.
Years of their research and studies have shown the superiority of screw cap closures to their cork counterparts. Approximately 90 percent of all New Zealand wine is now bottled under screw caps.
Many negators believe the ceremony of pulling the cork adds to the romance, others insist that the wine will not age properly without the micro doses of oxygen that corks allow into the bottle.
Two French wine researchers, Professor Emile Peynaud and Professor Pascal Ribereau-Gayon, dispelled this concept. Ribereau-Gayon clearly stated in his book “Handbook of Enology” that “Reactions that take place in bottled wine do not require oxygen” but the myth has persisted.
Embracers of the more modern closure love the ease in opening, and many intend on drinking their wines while fresh and young anyway.
Wine industry professionals understand the romance and history of the cork, but many are decidedly happy that the risk of cork taint or having their wine become “corked” is highly unlikely with a screw cap closure.
It is true that corks are now better than ever, and they are also a natural product which appeals to many. So, corks will probably always have a place in the wine world, but consumers should understand that a cork closure will never be as dependable or as easy to open as a screw cap.
This spring grab a bottle or two of wine preserved under a screw cap, and easily open it with confidence in its freshness for gatherings of family and friends, no wine opener needed.
SCREW CAP WINE RECOMMENDATIONS TO ENJOY THIS SPRING
Rodney Strong Vineyards Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc
A classic Sonoma County style Sauvignon Blanc with a fresh fruity finish that easily pairs with fried shrimp, seared scallops, and raw oysters.
Dog Point Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Juicy grapefruit flavors and fresh acidity make this New Zealand white an excellent match to simple seafood dishes, fried or baked oysters, or goat cheese with crackers.
Rodney Strong California Chardonnay
Sourced from three premium California Chardonnay growing regions - Sonoma, Monterey, and Santa Barbara counties - this wine was partially fermented in stainless steel and part in barrel creating a great balance of bright fruit and spicy oak notes with a creamy feel and a long finish. Serve this wine with grilled fish or creamy pasta.
Josh Cellars Rose
Bright, crisp, and dry, this easy drinking rose tastes great on its own or pairs with easy snacking food like a cheese and charcuterie platter.
Broadbent Vinho Verde
Light, citrusy, and refreshing with a hint of effervescence, this Portuguese white wine pairs best with sunny days, salad, and seafood.
Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Kabinett Riesling
Bright and juicy with peach and lemon over a flinty blue slate minerality, this German white works with spicy food from Asian to Cajun and from seafood to sausage.
Ponzi Tavola Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Silky feeling with notes of Bing cherry, cranberry, thyme, paprika, and cardamon which all play well with grilled vegetables, chicken, or salmon.
Santa Julia Organic Malbec
Dark berry and cherry aromas and flavors with hints of earthy mushrooms and spice fill this medium body fine tannin Argentine red making it an excellent partner with pizza, meaty pasta, and grilled red meat from burgers to steaks.
Penfolds Koonunga Hills Shiraz Cabernet
This full body traditional red blend from Australia is velvety with blackberry, plum, and hints of smoke and dried sage with fine tannins and a persistent finish. This red goes well with roasted lamb, grilled pork chops, or steak.