Monday, January 29, 2018

Cork vs Screw Cap

It used to be that when you thought of a screw capped bottle of wine you thought of a cheaper wine. Screw capped wine has been around since the 1950s but usually on more economical jugs of wine. Higher end bottles of wine are associated with corks, but recently that is changing.

In the 1400s, with the increase in popularity of glass bottles, the use of corks to close those bottles became more popular, as well. This is because cork bark, which is pliable, is great for holding the liquid inside the glass bottle. Corks are also preferred in the long-term aging of wines. They are made from renewable resources and are environmentally friendly. However, with other options available it may not be the best choice to use corks in all bottles of wine. They are more expensive, can cause TCA ‘Cork’ Taint, and natural corks may not breathe at a stable rate.

Some alternatives to corks include screw caps and corks made of other materials, such as plastics or plant-based polymers. These options are cheaper to make and easier to use, but like corks, they have their downsides. Some of them don't breathe at all, they are made from non-renewable resources, they are not biodegradable, and they are often associated with "cheap" wine.

Don't be surprised to see an increase in alternative methods to corks in not only economical wines, but also in high-end wines. They may not be the tradition, but when weighing the pros and cons of each they seem to be just as good.

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