12. December 2005 · Comments Off on Your Next $20 Bottle Of Wine May Have A Screw-Cap · Categories: Eat, Drink and be Merry, Technology

I’m with Professor Bainbridge on this:

I like old things. Old ideas. Old books. Old wines. I guess that’s part of the reason I’m a conservative. Yet, the intelligent conservative combines a disposition to preserve with an ability to reform. And so we come to the question of closures for wine.

For generations our ancestors used cork to close wine bottles, and they were wise to do so. Indeed, cork is a nearly perfect closure for wine. It is mostly impermeable, yet apparently allows just enough minute amounts of air into the bottle for the wine to evolve with age. And cork lends a certain romance to the otherwise mundane process of opening a bottle, as anyone who has popped a champagne cork knows. (For real romance, of course, port tongs can’t be beat.)


Many fine California and Australia wineries are now experimenting with the Stelvin closure. In my experience, wines capped with screw tops taste just as good as those closed with corks and, of course, loads better than those closed with tainted corks. But will wines capped with screw tops age as well? According to the Spectator, Bordeaux and Burgundy wineries are starting to conclude that they can:

“Burgundy négociant Jean-Claude Boisset is releasing small amounts of several bottles from the 2003 vintage topped with screw caps, including premier cru Santenay Grand Clos Rousseau, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin Villages. … “We feel fairly confident after the research we’ve done that the Stelvin will work nicely,” said Jean-Charles Boisset, the founder’s son. Boisset said the decision to test the Stelvin was sparked by a tasting of a 1966 Mercurey that was closed by screw cap….”

So the next time you see a $20 bottle of wine topped by a screw cap, don’t assume you’re being ripped off. As Laube opined:

“I’ve long advocated twist-offs, and when I’m shopping I’ve found myself gravitating toward them. One reason is that I’m assured the wine won’t be corked. Another is that I want to taste how fresh the wine is. I also want to support those who are taking an important leadership role for the industry and consumers.”

Me too.

Look for premium wines to come in boxes as well

BTW: Tech Central Station has changed it’s moniker to TCS Daily.

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