Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cork versus Screwcap Intro

A few years ago I began noticing wines transitioning from cork (real or plastic) to screwcap in the same vintage.  I bought both closures when available and set them aside.  Relocation and place of residence means the wines have not been stored perfectly but they have been stored exactly the same way.
It is possible, indeed perhaps probable, that wineries bottled the two versions at different times leading to some inherent differences before they reached my hands.  However, since no winery has invited me, nor any professional I know, to taste their experiments with closures, this is as close as we mortals can get.
My family gathered for Thanksgiving in North Carolina and we had a big tasting, non-professional opinions being the most important to me.  Seven wines from around the world, one each from South Africa, France, Spain and four from Australia, were opened and tasted blind.  Poured in pairs (one cork, one screwcap) to each participant, seven people, other than myself, tasted the wines.  Since I did not taste blind I did not vote.
After trying, unsuccessfully, for many months to sell this article to various wine magazines it is time to share the results.  The subject deserves exposure and discussion.  Everyone has an opinion about screwcaps but those ardent points of view are often under-informed.
Wineries conduct tastings behind closed doors but do not publish results.  Plumpjack released their cabernet in both versions for a number of years but that is an expensive experiment.  No one showcases wines from around the world with value prices, until now.
Stay tuned for the results and keep watching for an opportunity to join another edition of this tasting in New Orleans.

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