I have heard a lot that people seem to think that a bottle of wine with a screw cap lack quality or thats a sign that the wine is cheap. Well, I will disagree.
When we think of opening a wine bottle, we automatically picture pulling out a cork with a cork pull. Somehow opening a screw cap seems strange and less enjoyable. But does that make the wine in any way worse? The truth is that most of the time screw caps are better and a lot cheaper to produce. That leads us to another question: “Why use corks at all then?” Well, I'll try to explain.
Corks have been used since the beginning of wine production of modern Europe and are still used today. The problem is that the tree’s bark that is used to produce the corks is a slowly renewable resource and therefore expensive. Also 3%-5% natural cork bottles are spoiled due to the cork drying out or of too much of oxidation. This will never happen with screw caps.
So why are natural corks used? The answer is - for aging. When wine is aged in a bottle for many years, it needs to breath. This is not possible with screw caps. If the wine is not aged and is supposed to be consumed within a few years after bottling, the screw cap is a lot better. It’s as simple as that!
Screw caps where first used in the New World. New Zealand was the first to use them and Australia came second and so on. The Old World (European) producers where hesitant, but have started to use them as well.
For those who say that only cheap wines have a screw cap, well, the high-end Napa Valley winery Plumpjack put half its $150 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 in screw caps. A few major American producers, including Pepi, Bonny Doon, and Hogue, are using screw caps. Europeans are more hesitant, but Gunderloch, in Germany, and Bordeaux's venerable André Lurton, are leading proponents for this closure.
Today there are screw caps that allow and even control oxidation. So, in the near future corks may not even be used anymore. But one thing is for shure – a screw cap is never going to be as enjoyable to open than a good old-fashion cork.