Note To Winemakers: Get Rid of those Stupid, Effin Corks!

Why in this day do I have to use a corkscrew?
Screw caps are better (they don’t leak), keep oxygen out, and you don’t need a stupid corkscrew to open the bottle!
Of course, the “purists” insist that corks are better-I say, were horses better than cars?
How about moving into the 21st century?

Corks are better. The plastic ones anyway. I’d take that over either the corky corks or the screwtops.

Screw tops are better in every way to corks either plastic or natural. It is only tradition that keeps winemakers using corks.

Fascinating. I don’t know much about wine at all, but I’ve been picking more and more up at Trader Joe’s, trying to figure out what I like. I always am afraid my friends are going to judge me if I get the screw top kind. I didn’t realize it wasn’t inferior.

From what I understand this is pretty much accurate for white wine without question. I think it likely we will start seeing more and more white wine in screw tops over the next few years to the point where it doesn’t suprise people.
I do wonder if screw tops are suitable for reds intended to age for long periods or if tradition is behind the relative lack of red wine bottled that way.

Given that 90+% of the world’s wine is meant to be consumed rather quickly, I agree with the OP. I don’t know how well screw-caps would hold up to a century of aging, but I’m sure there are wineries doing experiments as we type.

In any other business, a 4% failure rate due to inferior materials would be an outrage and call for people’s heads. In the wine business, it’s just accepted.

I’ve never seen a box of wine with a cork.

For pretty much any wine meant to be consumed young, a screwcap completely elminates the chance of “corking” the wine and is just fine.

Good luck convincing Bordeaux growers/bottlers/aficianados of this.

Corks are necessary for certain wines. Since it is a slightly porous material, it allows small amounts of oxygen into the wine. If properly kept temperature-wise, this method is unsurpassed for the slow, mellow ageing of wines, fortified or not.

Getting a corked wine is kinda the luck of the draw, and is becoming quite a bit less prevalent these days with increased scrutiny on the provenance of corks and modern techniques like irradiation.

Screwcaps make perfect sense for the majority of wines, and NO sense for the veritable handfull of others.

Some of my favorites do come with screw caps (getting hard to find an Australian winery that’s not using them) , but I still prefer a cork. Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean that it should. I think the cork is all part of the wine’s feng shui, so to speak. Screw caps may be cheap, functional and easy, but they are classless.

Any gas exchange is bad for wine. The longer it is stored the worse it gets.

Well done, sir! (…raises glass of boxed Chardonnay…)

I practically never drink wine – a good 90% of all the wine I’ve ever drunk has been this calendar year – so last Christmas, I managed to absolutely delight my family as follows: I volunteered to make gløgg for Christmas Eve and to that end bought a bottle of wine at the store. I attacked it with a corkscrew and was conducting a valiant but futile struggle, when my more experienced brother came over and ascertained two facts:

  1. I still had the foil on over the top; which when removed, revealed that:
  2. it was a screw top.

I cheerfully expect never to live this down.

You use a glass? I thought that’s what the tap was for. . .

You actually put the whole box into the glass.

OK, so you don’t like Añejos. I’ll make a note in case you ever come visit.

I don’t like sex with women, but that doesn’t make “sex with women” a bad thing, it’s just something I don’t happen to like. Maybe añejos are just something you don’t happen to like, and not something bad.

It’ll put all the cork-soakers out on the street. Is that what you want? Oh, wait…

Cork is a renewable, sustainable material that is well suited to stopping wine. As FoieGrasIsEvil notes, the slight porosity is desirable for wines that are intended to be aged (though the benefit is in the opposite direction, that the wine can outgas slightly), and if the cork is appropriately selected and the bottle is stored correctly, cork is a fine material. (We also use it for convective thermal protection systems on rocket motors owing to its desirable thermal and mechanical properties; the only real detriment is its tendency to host mold.)

Screwtops are fine for wine that is intended to be drunk within a year of bottling, but the extraction of the cork is part of the ritual of drinking good wine, and requires only little skill and the slight forethought to keep a $2 corkscrew at the ready. Is this really a Pit-worthy complaint?


I’ll grant you that for the cheap wine that I drink most of the time, screw tops are just fine. Easier and quicker. But if I’m having a nice candlelight dinner with a young lady, half the point of the wine is ambiance, and a cork does a much better job of that than a screw top. You get the right bottle-stopper for the right occasion.

An interstate friend of mine is a real wine expert with a wine cellar containing hundreds of bottles. Going to wineries with him I get to taste wines that are kept from riffraff like me. Last time I visited him he was bemoaning the fact that two bottles of Grange Hermitage that he had cellared for decades turned out to be corked. Since these wines were worth hundreds or thousands of dollars per bottle by the time he opened them, he told me that he planned to stop buying wine that wasn’t in screw tops. I’ll have to check how that is going.

Well done, ma’am! (…raises the nearly empty bladder of the boxed CabSav…)