Posted by: fortheloveofwine | March 22, 2008

Wines are Getting Screwed

I am proud to say it…I love screw cap.  With the many research papers published indicating all the benefits of screw cap, I am surprised that some people continue to resist this new change in closure technology. 

Some of the research I have read suggests that wines bottled under screw cap contain lower levels of SO2, have no chance of becoming corked and has the highest level of protection against oxidization.  If that isn’t enough to convince you, the bottles are easier to open and reseal if you don’t finish them.  Wines bottled under screw cap do not have to be stored on their side to keep the cork moist, nor do they have to be cellared in a humidity-controlled cellar. 

I think most people realize that screw cap closures aren’t just for cheap wines, like they have been associated with in the past, but many are still not sold on them as respectable wine closures.  The people who are sitting on the fence with this topic are mostly resisting this inevitable change because they are stuck on the “ceremony” of opening a bottle of wine.  Which, by the way, is usually opened improperly at most restaurants (the best “opening technique” I have ever seen was when a server put the bottle between her knees to yank the cork out – terrible) There are a number of steps, according to my instructors at the International Sommelier Guild, to open the wine “properly”. I am not too picky when it comes to how my wine is opened, but if you are using the argument that you like the “ceremony” of opening a bottle with a cork as your main reason for not embracing screw cap – rest assured that it is a weak argument seeing as it is rarely opened properly.

The sooner you embrace the stelvin closure the better, more and more Niagara wineries are moving in that direction.  It makes the most sense for keeping premium products their best.

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Responses

  1. While I would agree that the screw cap is a good mechanical seal, most winemakers would agree that most wines mature to their optimum with limited, controlled exposure to oxygen.

    The old style conventional punched cork suffers (In addition to the risk of TCA) from broad variability as to the amount of oxygen transfer for each cork, while oil derived corks (Synthetics) allow little or no gas (oxygen) transfer and many can lead to oxidation and the screw cap is a complete seal allowing no real gas transfer. The micro-agglomerate cork has proven to be a great compromise but until recently also had the risk of TCA. Now, my company Oeneo produces a micro-agglomerate cork where the granules of cork are treated with super-critical C02 to completely remove (Less than 0.5 Parts per trillion) TCA. This cork is called DIAM and is now being used by over 1800 wineries worldwide including many very prestiegous brands and the majority of Champagne brands.

    MAF

  2. Oops -forgot our website; http://www.taintfreecorks.com

    Michael

  3. Thanks for the information – your product has certainly caught my attention.

    Is DIAM like cork in the sense that the wine bottle has to be stored on its side to keep the cork moist? Do cellar conditions require 75% humidity, as in the case of cork, to keep the seal entact?

    Andrea

  4. Andrea

    As our closure is a combination of 2mm granules of cork (treated using super-critical CO2) combined with an FDA approved food grade binder, they are not subject to drying as conventional punched corks are. Therefor, there is no need to store neck down or on the side.

    To learn more, visit http://www.taintfreecorks.com

    Cheers

    Michael


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