I read an article the other day and it rekindled an age-old debate in my mind that is still discussed in blogs and backrooms all over the world; to screw, or not to screw. No, I’m not talking about a chapter from the book Fifty Shades of Gray, I’m talking about screw caps on wine bottles.
The debate still rages, corks or screw caps? One article I read was in a rather prominent wine magazine and was written by a guy I have followed and read for years. In his article he advocates eliminating corks entirely; dump the corks, he says. I still can’t believe he said that.
Study after study has been done but no one is really sure what affect the plastic in a screw cap has on a wine over a 10-20+ year period. Scientists give their opinions and critic’s give theirs, but so far it seems all we really have are opinions.
If you’re not familiar with the debate, it all boils down to tainted wines. Cork taint, comes from TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), a powerful chemical that can infect a cork or somehow be transferred through the cork and into the wine. TCA can cause the wine to smell or taste musty and the longer it stays in contact with the wine, the worse it gets.
Screw cap advocates say using their closure would eliminate cork taint. Traditionalists say that screw caps cheapen the wine and the wine experience. Screw-cappers ask; what’s more important, good wine or just the pomp and circumstance around it. Traditionalists say they want both. What do you think?
Well, let me tell you what you think. That’s right, I already know, at least according to a survey by Tragon Corp. They asked you, the consumer, what you thought about wine closures and you screamed at the top of your lungs; “NATURAL CORK”! Au naturel was the overwhelming choice for U.S. wine drinkers. The results of the study also showed that wines with natural corks were more appropriate at dinner parties, special occasions and when given as a gift.
So the debate continues and probably will for years to come. But I wonder, what happens next if all wine bottles one day have screw caps? Will we need wine stewards to open them for us? Will thousands lose their jobs when all the cork screw factories go out of business? If screw caps are ok, why not caps like on a soda bottle or just a can of wine? Oh my, can you imagine going down to the Harris Teeter in Myers Park to get a “tallboy” of your favorite wine?
OK, that’s enough. Way to scary.