Are you an oenophile? Welcome to the club. However, what I am about to share with you might change the way you look at natural cork wine bottles. As true wine enthusiasts, we have been taught to believe that corked wines have several benefits. Sure. After all, it is made from natural wood, and has been used for centuries by generations of wine-brewing experts. They can’t be wrong, right?
Well, recently, some wine experts dashed this school of thought. They propose the theory that screw-top bottles are indeed better than our darling corks. Here’s why:
- No need to worry about ‘corked’ screw-top wines
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a corked wine is that which has been contaminated by cork taint, which incidentally, alters the scent and taste of the wine. Cork taint is an indication of the presence of TCA (Trichloroanisole), a chemical compound, which is formed when a natural fungus is treated with a chlorinated phenolic compound (often used for bottle sterilisation)
The bad news? TCA ruins a good wine by making it taste and smell like a dusty old basement. Wines with a high level of TCA, enough to change its taste are described as ‘corked’ or ‘having corkiness’. Not your idea of vintage wine, no? Screw-top bottles don’t have this problem.
- No need to bother with a cork screw
In the early days of my wine-loving adventure, I can’t recall how many times I had a good bottle (or two) and no corkscrew to open it. Bummer! Yes, this can be a pain. Whereas, with a screw top all you need do is peel out the seal, unscrew the top- albeit with a little effort- and voila! Your wine is accessible.
While this is a legitimate argument, I will like to stress that this mistake is common among amateurs. Real lovers of wine never plan any major wine soiree without a corkscrew. Even if it is a romantic getaway in some remote part of the woods, a corkscrew is one of the first things you pack. Nevertheless, we are not beyond mistakes, so here’s an article on 10 creative ways to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew.
- It is better for the wine
True, as an oenophile, you shouldn’t be thinking of just your own enjoyment. The better the wine ‘feels’, the better it tastes. How do you treat your wine? According to the experts, a screw top is air-tight and prevents oxygen from getting into the liquor. This keeps the whites sharp and the reds crisp. Although some folks believe a little oxygen from cork covers give wine a cherished, robust taste.
Wines like Nice Bordeaux are using a screw top. And they began around 25 years ago, prompting others like the Premier Cru Bordeaux to follow suit. If it is better for the wine, no harm no foul.
But I love yanking out, with my teeth, a half-stuck cork from the tip of a wine bottle. Just like the pirates of years past. It’s one wine tradition I will never give up.