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Cork versus Screw Cap

Not so very long ago, screw cap was used as a stopper for cheap plonk, while cork was the preserve of the finer bottles. Not so any more.  The past ten years has seen a sea-change toward use of screw cap, with an increasing number of fine wine producers rejecting cork.  The cost of “corked” wine to the industry has proven too high for many.  I can vouch for this:  I used to log my returned faultybottles in a book, now the number would barely fill two sides of a post note in a year because over two-thirds of my stock is screw cap. There`s also the personal tragedies of corked bottles:  the long years of cellaring a special bottle only to discover the wine is completely spoiled! And worse still, from my point of view as a merchant, is the slightly corked wines.  In these the wine simply tastes dull and without expression, as though a Death Eater has sucked the life out of it, appearing like a poor wine, not a faulty wine, with my reputation at stake!!  Furthermore:   wine itself at stake!  I blame the cork producers for the cork demise, for not grappling with the problems of cork infection sooner. Some say as much as 10% of all wines stoppered with cork is wasted due to cork taint.  Meantime, there has been this past decade a significant improvement in the screw cap, now with permeable lining.  It`s been with some considerable enthusiasm I have noted wines mature gracefully under screw cap, something the avid proponent of cork always said wouldn’t happen.      Truthfully, screw cap is not perfect, either. There are some  reductive wines, which can be a bit stinky – but these are few by comparison and can often be  remedied by decanting.   There`s also still the jury out on long-term maturation of wines under screw cap. But until I am dissuaded, my mind is made up, in favour of screw cap over cork. What do you think?

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