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Closure on Closure

As those of you who have met me know, I like to talk . . . a lot! And I really enjoy talking about wine – all aspects of it, including ‘technical’ stuff . . . . I try not to get too much into the ‘science’ of it because I start seeing people ‘fade out’ when I start glowingly discuss things like polymeric pigments and tartrate stability.

One thing I really do like discuss about our wines, though, is the fact that all of our wines – reds, whites, and roses – are finished with screw caps. We have chosen to do this for a few reasons, the most important of which is that it eliminates ‘problems’ that arise when you finish wines with natural corks. What problems, you may ask? Well, here goes .  .

Natural corks are wonderful products that have been used for centuries to close wine bottles with for aging. They have proven very good at allowing wines to ‘age’ over long periods of time and people know that all good wines and wineries use them . . . .

Whoa . . . forget that last little quip. This is NOT the case anymore. Many wineries are switching to screw caps, including some producing very expensive cabernets and syrahs,  for the following reasons:

1) Natural corks are just that – natural. They are not consistent – each has a unique set of pours that allows for oygen to get in at slightly different rates. This is one reason that such a high level of ‘bottle variation’ exists.

2) Natural corks are suspect to TCA – a nasty little fungus that negatively affects wines. ‘Corked’ wines will range from those that are mildly affected (aromas are simply muted and not as expressive as they are supposed to be) to those badly affected (wine smells and tastes like wet cardboard). Not good – and industry rates show that up to 1 in 12 bottles, or 1 bottle per case, is adversely affected by this.

3) Believe it or not, there are a LOT of people out there that are intimidated by using corkscrews to remove corks . . .

There are plenty of other reasons, but I think these three give a good overview as to why many wineries, including tercero, have decided to use screw caps instead of corks . . .

I’m curious to hear your comments and opinions on the matter – please post them when you can.
Cheers!

2 responses to “Closure on Closure”

  1. jimmy z says:

    what is the aging window for wines with screwtop closures – 5 – 10 years? longer?

  2. I usually ask all my bottling buyers to take a survey and just simple ask every women in there tasting room what they would rather have, Cork or screw off (easy twist off) bottle caps when opening their favorite wine. Invarrably the answer is always for screw caps. Consider calling Christine (800.532.2207) in our warehouse. She can help you with our world renown line of Guala, and Global screw caps. Our quality and service is world class, great minimums for ordering and we warehouse right here in California, plus I’m not far away either I’m down here in Santa Barbara.. Call me if you need bottling supplies. I’ll try to help if I can, or put you in touch with people who know. Thanks! Pete Durand / Residence Office; 805-845-6089 Email; peterdcal@cox.net.