• U.S.

WINE APPRECIATION: It’s Getting All Screwed Up

2 minute read
Joel Stein

If only the whole point of drinking wine weren’t to impress people, screw tops would have taken off by now. Corks, many claim, are a great way to seal wine if you’re a 15th century monk, but they’re not so good today. Corks can crumble and allow air into a bottle, causing what is called corkage, a slight rotting of the wine. Some manufacturers have tried using plastic corks, but they don’t always form a perfect seal and can impart their own flavor. So this year, many wineries are switching to screw tops–the same technology you find when opening a Colt 45. California’s Bonny Doon, whose $130 Cabernet opens with a flick of the wrist, threw a funeral for the cork in New York City in October. The cork industry is fighting back with a p.r. campaign, but that won’t stop vintners like New Zealand’s Kim Crawford, whose bottles are all being switched to screw tops by next year. “There’s nothing romantic about a corked bottle of wine,” he says. Unfortunately, screw tops render obsolete the second snottiest aspect of wine: storing your bottles in a rack on their sides to keep the corks moist. –By Joel Stein

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