In Praise of the Screwcap

In Praise of the Screwcap

Is it twisted to believe the screw-cap is the best closure for fine wine?

At first blush, the idea seems preposterous, a slap in the face of long-held tradition. But in fact, evidence suggests otherwise. Believe it or not, but studies at a Bordeaux university have confirmed that wine bottled under a twist-off cap generally emerge fresher and fruitier with more precise flavor definition and also suggested that the argument that twist-off caps retard the aging process may lack merit, proving that there is oxygen ingress with a metal cap.

And that’s not all. Maison Jean-Claude Boisset, one of Burgundy’s largest wine merchants, has been bottling $200 grand cru with twist-off caps. Boisset made the move after comparing 30-year-old wines sealed with corks against the same wines sealed under a twist-off cap and deciding the capped wines offered more consistent quality and better fruit and freshness retention. Wine Spectator has been railing at the rate of cork-tainted bottles for years.

This is not to suggest that the death of cork is imminent. But when you see a capped bottle on the shelf at Saint Goose, don’t dismiss it. Embrace it.


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