Wine Cork VS Screw Cap: Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
I was wondering where the whole cork vs. screw cap debate was these days. It seems it remains at an ‘agree to disagree’ stance.
Though it’s taken some time, from a technical standpoint there seems to be an agreement and understanding that the screw top cap doesn’t harm or hinder the wine. There was always a debate around how the screw top wouldn’t allow air to interact with the wine, which plays a role in how well a bottle ages. Even that’s been put to rest as screw caps have become more adaptive, some allowing oxygen in.
I read about pros and cons of each type of closure. Wine Folly had a great list of pro and cons of the traditional cork and cork alternatives such as screw tops and manufactured corks. Including, probably most importantly, that the cork has certainly proven itself at long-term aging.
It’s interesting that this argument leans heavily to the sentimental. Several commenters on Quora and Reddit write of how the pop of the cork was ‘romantic’ and that the first whiff of the cork begins the tasting process. That the screw top diminishes the experience of having a glass of wine.
Others comment about how unromantic it is to have to strain or otherwise fish bits of cork out of your wine or rocks glass.
The only reasonable argument left standing is how cork alternatives will age over long periods. Studies have been done, predictions have been made. But sometimes there is just no substitute for time.
Wine Turtle recently did an amazing infographic breaking it all down.
At Epic Cellars, our focus is on collectible bottles and I can assure you, we see a lot more corks than caps. I don’t expect to see go the way of the floppy disc or rotary phone any time soon. But it also seems kind of like when I used to say you’d take a real newspaper out of my cold, dead hands. And yet here I am newspaper-free since 2015 (or whatever).
Winemakers are wary that the stigma of the screw cap will cheapen their wines. They’re probably right; they know their market and for now, their market seems to like their cork. Can you imagine a day in the distant future, screwing off the cap to your 2020 Chateau Lafite? Nah, I can’t see it either.
Where do you stand on the matter? Corks or caps? Tell us all about it in the comments.