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Screwcaps or corks?

by Mark H.


I have a question on cork vs screw caps. Why are there both? Does one seal the wine better than the other? Is it just the seller's choice of how to cap the bottle? Just another question from someone who is discovering the many facets of wine.

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by: Isabelle

Wineries started to use screwcaps when they experienced a lot of wine defects due to bad corks early 2000s. Corks can be contaminated and then release a compound called TCA that smells like old cellars, musty. It's a wine defect.
You can know more about cork taint here

Initially, wines under screwcaps were mass-produced wines, mainly from the New World, and less expensive. An issue was that winemakers tended to add the same amount of sulfites at bottling (to prevent oxidation) as they used to do when using corks; this practice made the wines smelled like gas, burnt matches when you were opening them. Not great!

Over the years, the bottling process has significantly improved, and wines under screwcaps are of excellent quality. The downside of using screwcaps is that wines don't age well, compared to cork. That's why wines made to age like some crus of Bordeaux or Burgundy are still under cork. Long technical answer, hopefully helpful.

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