What is the best, screw tops or natural cork? Yes, this is a debate that I am sure will continue for some time yet. One of the major proponents of the screw cap, Australian Penfolds, has recently made some new contributions to the debate. Peter Gago, their wine makers, does not think that the screw cap has a future, at least not for more expensive wines. However, he believes that the glass cork can be an interesting alternative. He also says that thanks to the fact that cork damages is now down to only around 1% many producers are going back to natural cork. And he points out that also with screw caps you can have a defect wine. Gago says that 1% of all wines with screw caps are oxidized due to the screw cap being damaged during transport or handling.
Gago have discovered another drawback with the screw cap. It masks the effect of heat damage. A red wine sealed with a screw cap looks perfect even if it has been exposed to 50 degree heat for several weeks, for example during a long transport in a non-refrigerated container. A natural cork, however, shows clear signs of such (mis-)treatment. It leaks and starts to push its way up.
Read more on Penfolds’ winemaker’s views on different closures thedrinksbusiness.com.
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