Cork or screwcap?

The age old question.

Katalin Kiszel-Kohari - June 18, 2019

Cork still seems to be the favoured method of premium producers. I have seen it many times when people giving a satisfied look when they realise the bottle they got, ordered, chose has a cork in it, rather than a screwcap. Somehow it looks more elegant, more traditional in some ways.

Cork is still the most widely used form of closure, although approximately 5% of all wine closed with cork spoilt by cork taint. The cause is the presence of TCA (Trichloroanisole if you are really interested) that gives the wine mouldy aroma. On top of the possibility of cork taint, with age the cork can fail and can cause oxidation, faster ageing. Given that the bottle is stored correctly with a good quality cork, some tiny amount of air is desirable for bottle aging in premium products.

On cheaper wines that destined to drink young, wine producers often use synthetic, plastic corks, but they are not very reliable for longer periods. They tend to let excess oxygen in, and can alter the wine`s flavour. Not a good way, I might add.

Screw cap has been mastered by new world producers. It works brilliantly, seals the bottle perfectly, preserves fresh and fruity aromas and does not have a negative effect on the flavour of the wine. It does not help bottle ageing though, as it does not let any air through at all. Still no one and nothing is perfect. And what might be surprising it actually cost much more to use them. So if you do not have cork in your bottle, it does not mean that you are having something inferior.

On the contrary, somebody made sure that you can enjoy a young, fruity early drinking wine in the best possible condition.

Photographs by The Tannin Addict.