To Screw(cap) or Not to Screw(cap), That is the Question

February 15, 2012 3 comments »

Well, after countless discussions between wine experts, scientists and consumers about which closure is best, the jury is in and the results are plain to see:

The Australian Wine Research Institute did a study and, as shown in the photos below, the screwcap does a better job of preserving color and freshness in white wines.  The screwcap is the leftmost bottle (black top), and the others are different corks, and synthetic closures (plastic, and cork composites).

After just 28 months (1st row of wines) the difference in color is remarkable. Generally, the flavor change is roughly proportional to the change in color.

The 2nd and 3rd rows at 5 and 10 years respectively are less interesting because who would keep a white wine that long? Still, I bet the wines on the right are undrinkable.

As you can read below, the “Screwed Wine” had, at least for the blogger, “a full yellow colour, with a minerally, flinty edge to the attractive honeysuckle and citrus fruit nose. The palate has a lovely focused fruit quality to it with pithy citrus fruit and a hint of grapefruit. There are also some subtle toasty notes. Very attractive and amazingly fresh for a 10 year old…"

We used screwcaps on some of our Juliet and Isabel wines. For those of you who enjoy these, know that you can store the wine for a bit without worries.  In a year or two we will taste the first of these wines that received screwcaps and will report back.

Thanks for your support and we’ll see you at the winery.

–Tell us how you feel about screwcaps vs. corks for wine?

Research Study Article:

These bottles are all 1999 Clare Valley Semillon made by Kerri Thompson of Leasingham Estate. The bottles were part of an experiment conducted by the Australian Wine Research Institute and were sealed with various natural and synthetic cork closures, with the exclusion of the bottle sealed with a screwcap (far left).

Sensory evaluation confirms our visual intuition: the screw-cap sealed bottle retained its freshness and prevented oxidation far better than any other kind of closure. UK wine journalist Jamie Goode tasted the wine and reports on it here:

So, some 10 years and eight months after bottling, how does this wine look? It’s a full yellow colour, with a minerally, flinty edge to the attractive honeysuckle and citrus fruit nose. The palate has a lovely focused fruit quality to it with pithy citrus fruit and a hint of grapefruit. There are also some subtle toasty notes. Very attractive and amazingly fresh for a 10 year old Clare Semillon.

These results are important because they tell us two things. First, screwcaps work very well when you’re trying to age wine. Second, Australian whites wines have staying power and longevity when bottled and stored correctly.

Learn More: http://www.wineanorak.com/blog/2010/01/very-important-wine-1999-awri-trial.html


Posted by , February 15, 2012 3 comments

3 comments

  1. I have often wondered which type of bottle top would work best with wine. I must admit that I was surprised to learn that the screw cap won out over the good old fashioned cork. Screw cap wine bottles tend to put most “winos” off. They are often perceived as cheaper than their cork counterparts. It will be interesting to watch the wine industry change it’s traditions of wine bottling to include screw caps. I honestly don’t think every one will adapt to the change from corks to screw caps very well. It might feel a bit like taking the coins out of Vegas gaming. Receipts work well, but hearing the clanking of coins as you “hit it big” used to be like music to my ears. Today, I feel a similar tinge of excitement when I hear a cork pop off a great bottle of wine or bubbly. Like technology, the wine industry will need to educate its community on the improvements being made within the industry, so people can come to appreciate its growth as we set new standards in the creation and storage of fine wines. Great article! Thank you Ponte!

    Comment by Kelley on Feb 16, 2012 at 2:06 am

  2. Thanks for commenting, Kelley! It is interesting to hear the feedback and reaction to this emerging idea. Of course there is always a balance between the perception of the screw cap and protecting the integrity of the wine. We promise to keep a close eye on the technology and make sure we can deliver the best product possible!

    Comment by Amy Landolt on Feb 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm

  3. I have sold wine for 35 years in in Northern California. At first most of the push back was wait staff. I ordered a bottle of Erath Pinot Noir at Club 31 in Disneyland the waiter was happy when I told him the wine was quite good and I knew it had a screw cap. He had been hiding the closure with a napkin. Most people I deal with now like the screw cap and are educating there clientele as to it’s benefits.There will always be corks but your everyday bottle up to 20 dollars will end up screw caps in the future.

    Comment by Mark Witherwax on Mar 1, 2012 at 2:39 am




 

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