As a reminder, wines appeared in pairs and tasters did not know which was which. I changed the presentation order of cork and screwcap randomly to avoid any trends. The screwcap was on the right for the first two wines, then on the left for two more. The final three wines alternated screwcap from right to left and back again.
Members of my family made up the group and they enjoy wine but none are professionals and taste preferences vary widely.
Excelsior Chardonnay, South Africa 2006 - The vote here was nearly unanimous. One taster preferred the bottle finished with the plastic cork, but I know she used to love apple juice. "Sauterne-like" was how another described the same wine. The winning screwcap showed, "more nose, better tang" and was "fruitier and lighter in color."
Votes were 6-1 in favor of the screwcap.
Abel Clement Cotes du Rhone 2005 - Another strong vote, despite one abstainer, who found the tastes "inconclusive." "Smoother" described the cork while the same taster found the screwcap "more acid/tart." This taster found the wines exhibited a "similar nose...I liked one then the other." That vote not withstanding, the rest were fairly strong for the screwcap due to "better body, better aftertaste" and a reaction of "more happening."
Votes 5-1, one abstention, in favor of the screwcap.
Bodegas Castano Monastrell, Yecla, Spain 2006 - Mixed results continued here with another abstention due to lack of preference. Another admitted the vote was "pretty randomly chosen" while "so far this is the closest," perhaps summed it up best. The strangeness of this wine nearly split the crowd. The screwcap wine generated "oddly, a bit juicier," "just flows nicely" and "maybe slightly better in taste." The plastic cork sealed bottle received "almost better," "great nose" and "a little drier." One voter for the screwcap found the other had "too much bite on the finish" but a "similar nose."
Votes 4-2, one abstention, in favor of the screwcap.
We'll wrap up the voting in the next post.