In a recent Box of Wine Instagram quiz I posed the question “Screwcaps are a sign of what?”. Now, I should say that my motivation was mostly to catch people out because let’s face it, I need my entertainment too! What surprised me was just how many I would end up catching out. An overwhelming majority chose “cheap wine” as the answer.
So, as I’m drinking a bottle of Fergal Tynan’s fantastic Thistledown “She’s Electric” McLaren Vale Grenache (which uses a screwcap!!!), I thought I would outline the correct answer.
To get to the answer we first have to talk about the reason for real cork closures; Cork closures were first used for their elastic quality and the fact that they are impermeable. The oxygen that gets into the wine is released from within the cork itself. As most bottles are consumed early (or within ten minutes of getting home in my case) the real reason for cork closures is tradition.
The downside of corks is TCA or cork taint which is what occurs when a wine is corked.
This brings us to the correct answer to my question: “Consistency”. That’s right. The reason for screwcaps are the winemaker doesn’t have to worry about issues associated with corks and the customer is far less likely to get a tainted bottle. Win Win.
The way I’ve always looked at it is that the best closure is whatever the winemaker chooses. Buy your wines based on what you think you’ll like and leave the details up to them.
When stocking wines for our subscription service we only buy based on quality. We don’t differentiate based on what kind of closure a bottle might have or how photogenic the label may be.
It’s what’s on the inside that counts!
Kind regards and drink up,