A young couple walks into a wine shop to purchase a bottle of wine for dinner. Will the type of bottle closure affect their choice? Each and every winemaker, retailer and consumer all have different opinions on this topic.
Screw it…many individuals will not purchase a bottle of wine because it is sealed with a screw cap. People believe this is taking away from the romantic side of wine, making it look cheap and destroying the use of forests, which is the economic backbone of Portugal. However, the convenience of opening the bottles, the ability to store them in any position the affordability for wineries and the consistent seal definitely make it an option to be considered.
Cork off…natural cork has been used to close wine bottles for hundreds of years, but winemaker’s are beginning to realize that natural cork has its downfalls. For many years people have been opening up bottles that “corked” or tainted, wine that is ruined specifically by the cork. Winemakers are losing money, retailers are frustrated and consumers are sick of purchasing bad wine. Yes, some people believe natural cork is a better choice because you are using a renewable, recyclable material; protecting animal’s homes in the cork forests, and cork is a better material for aging wine.
Environmentalists can sit and tell the world that this method or that method is better, but both options have their pros and cons. Either way, it comes down to the winemaker and how they can make a profit. The consumers can base their purchase on the type of closure or the quality of the wine.
Cork vs. Screw Caps
Wine bottles can be closed with natural cork, synthetic corks or screw caps. Winemaker’s retailers and consumers all have their own opinions on closure.
One huge influence on preference is wine can become “corked” or tainted because of natural cork. Wineries do not want to take a chance of this happening because customers will not return, with the belief that the winery produces bad wine. Yet, the wine world has not found out how wine will age while closed with a screw cap. Screw caps have been around for many decades, but their use has always been associated with “cheap” or less expensive beverages. Winemakers are now choosing to use them on their wines, but not enough time has elapsed to know what the effects are on the wine.
Many ideas influence a winemaker’s choice of closure. More ideas include environmental factors, ceremony of opening wine, storage and even convenience. The result of wine closure is completely in the winemakers hands.
In our opinion, the biggest influence is whether or not a person plans to age the wine. With the research that has been done, if you plan to drink your wine within the next 5 to 10 years a screw cap will be perfect for sealing your wine. However, we would stick with natural cork for wine that you want to store for more than 10 years. When more research has been completed, we might find that we prefer all screw caps, but we will have to wait and see.