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Screw Top - Rant

Okay, here is something that is bothering me and I figured this was a good forum to vent and get some opinions.

I belong to a wine mailing list where the wines offered run between $30-$75 a bottle. This is a rather small winery. When I started buying wine from them years ago they were using traditional cork stoppers and foil. As of last year they moved exclusively to the screw top on all their wines

The problem I have is I like to eat out fairly regularly and will often bring wines that I have purchased and cellared for 5-10 years out to dinner. I feel like I can not bring a screw top wine to a restaurant. In addition, if I went over to someone's house for dinner and was to bring a bottle of wine I would not want to bring a screw top wine.

I am a little annoyed that this winery went to screw top. I understand the flaws of natural cork but I am willing to live with them. If a winery insists on not using natural cork then I would prefer a synthetic cork with a foil . I have a big problem paying good money for a screw top wine. I like the ceremony of cutting the foil, and pulling the cork. The snap of a screw top just doesn't cut it.

Should I tell the winery my feelings and mention I will no longer purchase their wine due to the screw top?

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  1. Please tell us the winery.

    As much as the tradition of opening a bottle of wine fitted with cork adds to the experience, the real enjoyment comes from what's in the bottle. Add the great company, good food and stemware you're in a delightful place, to be sure. Opening the cork or screw top is literally a passing moment that's quickly forgotten.

    I'm glad some great producers of not-cheap wines are using screw tops. Especially small producers that may want the security of knowing none of their bottles will ever be "corked."

    Nowadays there's no need for screw top wines to have any stigma. When members of my wine group with 3,000 - 8,000 bottle cellars bring a bottle of Two Hands with a screw top everyone is happy.

    1. I don't mind the screw tops and I think we'll get used to them. Why should a cork be so special? I can buy wine with corks at many gas stations.

      1. Scott -

        If the screw top closure really bothers you, then I would say you should stop buying the wine. On the other hand, a lot of good wine comes in screw top bottles nowadays, and you will be cutting yourself off from these wines. However, if it is really important to you, there are still thousands of good wines with corks. Personally, I am indifferent to natural cork versus screw top closures regardless of the price of the wine. In general, out of all of the wines that I have opened, relatively few have been damaged by a cork closure. I have no experience where I think an otherwise good wine was spoiled by a screw top. As george2 said, good wine, good friends and good food are the three most important parts of the experience for me. I do not hesitate to bring a screw top wine to a friends house if I think it is good wine. I actually prefer the screw caps to the synthetic corks, as I find the synthetics to be more dificult to remove with standard corkscrews (and harder on the corkscrew.) I will admit that I still like the concept of popping a cork on Champagne or sparkling wine.

        I think some of the negative feelings surrounding screw tops dates back to the time when most screw top wines were lower quality jug wines or "Ripple". I am not suggesting that this is your case, I think I understand that you like the "ceremony" of the cork, etc. I have experienced this ceremony quite a bit, so I am probably less impressed by it than I was years ago. I have also had my fair share of opportunities to help a struggling young waiter or waitress remove the cork from a bottle. At home, we make no ceremony over the cork, we just open the bottles and enjoy the wine.

        22 Replies
        1. re: scrappydog

          I do like the ceremony but to some extent there is a negative connotation in my mind to the screw top as "cheapening" the wine. I think there is a similar feeling towards box wine. Would you bring a "high-end" box of wine to a restaurant if it existed?

          What if one of your favorite wines started to come in 750ml cans? Would you be happy to bring a can of wine out to dinner?

          If you were a brie lover would you be happy if they started packing it in an aerosol can because it would keep longer?

          Also, I am still not convinced that wine ages the same way with a synthetic cork or screw top as it does with a natural cork.

          1. re: Scott M

            «I am still not convinced that wine ages the same way with a synthetic cork or screw top as it does with a natural cork.»

            If a screwcapped wine has been properly bottled, it ages exactly the same way only somewhat more slowly and with nearly no risk of premature oxidation or cork taint. The argument that trans-stopper air exchange is key to graceful aging is essentially bogus; the amount that does occur in cork-stoppered bottles is thought to be insignificant compared with the amount of oxygen introduced at the time of bottling. Also, aging is generally considered to be a reductive process.

            If there's an argument against aging wines under screwcaps, it's that the extended longevity (over several decades) of screwcaps has yet to be proven. There are experimental screwcapped bottlings of Australian whites (riesling especially) going back more than 20 years. The screwcapped bottles have lost none of their fill and remain remarkably fresh and lively. Anyway, even cork should be replaced after a few decades; IIRC Lafite-Rothschild recommends 30 years and even organizes recorking clinics for the purpose.

            Synthetic corks are a different story. Many if not most are best used for wines for immediate consumption.

            In the end, I frankly don't give a damn how a wine gets into my glass, just what it looks, smells and tastes like once it's there. I've had many tainted wines from cork-stoppered bottles (some of them very expensive bottles whose cost was never recovered), not a single one from a screwtopped bottle. And, yes, I'd love it if producers started "bottling" good wines in high-quality bag-in-box containers.

            1. re: carswell

              Hi Carswell,

              sources?

              I hear different things all the time but have not read anything solid from reliable sources one way or the other. Anything you might provide would be greatly appreciated.

                1. re: vanillagorilla

                  From the end of your second link:
                  "I still believe that sound corks are the preferred closure for fine wines. The TCA problem is diminishing as cork suppliers continue to improve their production methods. My hat is off to them for doing so. Modern screw caps may be OK, provided the liner seals well and continues to keep the air completely out for a long enough time. Screw caps didn’t do that thirty years ago and screw capped wines were never bottle-aged back then. "

                  1. re: vanillagorilla

                    Re: The Appellation America article by Richard Peterson that says cork don't breathe. Peterson is incorrect.

                    A study done by the University of Bordeaux confirmed that aging of wine in the bottle occurs through micro-oxygenation via the cork. "The study measured oxygen permeation of two grades of natural cork, two technical corks, two synthetics and screw caps-not surprisingly finding different oxygen barrier properties. There were higher oxygen ingress rates with synthetics and lower oxygen ingress rates with screw caps while corks fell in between. Among the findings were that the oxygen permeation patterns for natural corks differed depending on the grade of cork. Also of note: with cork, oxygen permeation rates were found to generally decrease over time."
                    http://www.winebusiness.com/Reference...

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      I've heard this discussed elsewhere, but can't find the links. There has been some new research done that shows that oxygen permeation through the cork is basically nil. There is however, oxygen stored in the cork. It slowly seeps out of the cork and into the wine bottle. But once this amount of oxygen is gone, you don't get anymore; unless there is a bad seal.

                      If this research is true, sealing wine just became a whole lot easier. You can make an absolutely air tight seal, and simply inject the amount of oxygen that a cork would leach at the bottling time.

                      1. re: vanillagorilla

                        It's long been known there has been gas in the cork that would seep into the bottle. This is different from the focus of the Bordeaux 3-year study, though, which measured the oxygen-transmission rates of cork, synthetic corks and screwcaps.

                        The study did find, as mentioned above -- and this may be what you are referring to, VG -- that oxygen permeation rates decreased over time.

                        Here's a good long list of scientific papers on the role of closures in wine development, with links, if you're interested in more reading:
                        http://www.corkfacts.com/contpges/arc...

                        1. re: maria lorraine

                          No offense, but I tend to be skeptical of any studies provided by a manufacturer of cork. :) I'd be just as skeptical of any screw top studies provided by a manufacturer of them.

                          1. re: vanillagorilla

                            You can source the scientific wine journals directly.

                          2. re: maria lorraine

                            I've learned something new.

                            I received an email this morning from Paulo Lopes, PhD, who works at the Amorim research department as senior wine scientist. His PhD in 2005 from the Faculty of Enology of Bordeaux was on oxygen barrier properties of different closures and their impact on chemical and sensory properties of bottled wine. I had asked him about the Richard Petersen article about corks’ breathing, and about oxygen transfer into the bottle via the cork, and this is what he wrote:

                            "In general, I tend to agree to what Richard Peterson said. In fact we have already discussed this issue and then Richard published the second article of Corks Do Not Breathe.
                            http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wi...

                            "In our research at the Faculty of Enology of Bordeaux we have clearly demonstrated that there is a “microxygenation” of bottled wine sealed with corks. However, most of this oxygen is provided by the cork cell structure, which represents around 95% of the total oxygen transmitted during three years of storage. [So you were right, AG!] Only residual amounts of atmospheric oxygen permeate through the cork-glass interface. Therefore, it can be said in general that corks do not breathe (considering that breathing is the mechanism of atmospheric oxygen permeation through closures).

                            "The oxygen transmission provided by corks would appear to be positive for wine ageing, avoiding the formation of post-bottling reductive flavors, more noticeable in wines sealed with tighter closures such as screw caps. It seems clear that bottled wine sealed with corks never takes place under strong aerated or completely anaerobic conditions, but rather under "very poor-oxygen atmosphere" that cork stoppers are able to provide.

                            "I am attaching the 3 peer-reviewed articles that we have published."

                            Lopes, P.; Saucier, C.; Teissedre, P.L., Glories, Y. Main routes of oxygen ingress through different closures into wine bottles. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2007,55, 5167-5170.
                            http://www.corkfacts.com/contpges/doc...

                            Lopes, P.; Saucier, C.; Teissedre, P.L., Glories, Y. Impact of storage position on oxygen ingress through different closures into wine bottles. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2006, 54, 6741-6746.
                            http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/j...

                            Lopes, P.; Saucier, C.; Glories, Y. Nondestructive colorimetric method to determine the oxygen diffusion rate through closures used in winemaking. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2005, 53, 6967-6973.
                            http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/j...

                            All these articles and more are in this list:
                            http://www.corkfacts.com/contpges/arc...

                        2. re: maria lorraine

                          with respect, the link you give doesn't confirm micro-oxygenation via the cork. - it says

                          "It is not clear how oxygen actually enters a cork-sealed bottle, says Amorim, and the company is funding research to better understand oxygen entry--to determine, for instance, whether oxygen diffuses through the cork from the atmosphere or from within the cork itself."

                          If I recall correctly, Peterson stated that oxygen is not transmitted through the cork.

                          If oxygen transmission is necessary for aging of wine (and I don't think that it is proved that it is) then notice has to be taken of the length of cork and a whole number of other factors.

                            1. re: maria lorraine

                              Thank you,Maria.

                              Though
                              "“microxygenation” of bottled wine sealed with corks. However, most of this oxygen is provided by the cork cell structure, which represents around 95% of the total oxygen transmitted during three years of storage. "

                              raises the question of aging wine with DIAM closures which many top wineries have/are converting to, because DIAMs do not have any cells.

                              1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                                Those DIAM corks are curious -- they take the air cells out, but add microspheres with gas back in. I wonder what the actual air exchange is, then. I wonder if they function more like a synthetic cork, which, because of its lack of flex, allows more air in than desired. Are you familiar with the ins and outs of these corks, GF?

                                One thing that that got my attention on their website -- they offer free cork taint test kits! For all those who would like to smell TCA and lock in the smell:
                                http://www.tcafreecorks.com/testkit.htm

                                I'll post a new thread on this...

                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                  I have had a number of wines with DIAM closures without any problems, but these are all youngish wines, not 20 year olds for obvious reasons.

                                  I have spoken with a several winemakers who have switched to DIAMS and are convinced by them, but their main criteria is avoiding TCA.

                                  The entire issue of aging wine is, I believe, not understood.

                                  I personally think that aging wine and oxygen are two separate actions which are sometimes complementary; that is I think that wine can and does age without oxygen transfer, and while microoxygenation can be beneficial it is -- for obvious reasons -- completely uncontrolled and can ruin wines by over oxidising.

                                  I went to seminar on the subject last year with an international panel of winemakers and scientists.

                                  I don't have my notes with my at the moment, but I do recall that the experiments on oxygen transfer into a selaed bottle were conducted by cutting the bottom off the bottle, inserting the measuring machinery, and sticking the bottle to a surface. I am not a scientist, but that method struck me as not emulating real life.

                                  I now am not interested in aging wine for 20 years -- been there, done that. WIne is made to drink earlier than it used to be and ,while old wines are interesting, I get more pleasure from younger wines with their fruit. 5 - 10 years is enough. I don't want a TCA ruined wines and I'm delighted with screwcaps and DIAMs seem good too.

                                  Another factor with standard corks is that they impart a 'dirty' cork taste to wine -- screw capped wine tastes fresher.

                                  1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                                    <<I think that wine can and does age without oxygen transfer>>

                                    oh yes, very much so...that's a fascinating chemical dance...

                      2. re: Icantread

                        «sources?»

                        Check this post (part of which I canabalized for the above) and the following posts for several references. Some of my info comes from discussions elsewhere that long ago disappeared into the ether. Jamie Goode's *The Science of Wine* and Jancis Robinson's *The Oxford Companion to Wine* (3rd edition) are fairly up-to-date, though obviously less so than trade publications and scientific papers (which, to be honest, I' ve not been following closely).

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3842...

                        1. re: carswell

                          Thanks to both sides of the argument for putting forth some good articles I look forward to reading.

                          1. re: Icantread

                            « some good articles I look forward to reading » - Icantread

                            *snicker*

                            But seriously, they do look like interesting articles. I doubt they'll be on the top of my stack of things to read, but I'll certainly be printing out some and slipping them in there.

                    2. re: Scott M

                      I have not had many boxed wines that I think are good, or a memorable spray cheese for that matter. (Although, for all I know, boxed wine might pair nicely with canned cheese.) We generally purchase wine in 750 ml bottles (or the occasional magnum), so it is unlikely I will ever have much knowledge about boxed wine (which seems to be mainly 3 and 4L boxes), but in my limited experience, it "hasn't been the box's fault" if I did not like the wine. I have yet to try any of the canned wines. That said, I would be skeptical of a canned or boxed wine, and likely would not bring one to a restaurant. I have had enough experience with screw tops, that I have come to accept them. I can understand your opposition to the screw tops, but I do not share it.

                      Most of the wines that I buy are not bought for long term aging, but the wines I am currently aging (CdP, Cabernet, some Syrah, etc) mostly have corks. I am sure that eventually, I will have some experience with aged screw top wine, but my personal experience to date is minimal.

                      1. re: Scott M

                        I hate to seem rude but your brie comparison is absurd. Sometimes I buy brie that comes wrapped in paper and stuffed in a little wooden box and sometimes I but brie that is precut and wrapped in plastic wrap. Either way it's still brie. The product on the inside is still the same.

                        I used to have the same feeling about screw caps many years ago when I worked in restaurants but over the last five years or so those feelings have really gone away. I don't even consider the method used by a winery to seal the bottle anymore. In fact, I have even had wines within the last couple of years that were great eeveryday wines that didn't come in bottles. There are a couple of Australian wineries putting quality products in a bag in a box and one California winery putting good wine in a 1 liter carton. The lower cost of packaging and shipping keeps the price of the wine more affordable. Now, these wines certainly aren't Opus One quality but they are good enough to drink and offer to guests at the house.

                        I would certainly take a screw cap bottle to a nice restaurant for dinner.

                    3. If it really bothers you, certainly tell the winery and stop buying their wines. But personally I would never stop drinking a good wine because it was bottled under a screw-top regardless of price. I'm paying for what's inside the bottle. And high-end wine producers that go to screw-top generally aren't doing it to be cheap, they're doing it because they believe it will better protect and preserve what's in the bottle.

                      I actually sometimes find it amusing to have a screw-top wine at a restaurant, because often the server seems like an actor who's forgotten their lines when they don't have the full wine-opening ritual to go through, as they stand slightly puzzled holding the screw-top wondering, "What do I do now?".

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        Price and closure company profits are huge considerations, as well as eliminating cork taint.

                        Screwcaps are cheap. Cheaper than cork. I know...I've attended seminars on corks, Stelvins vs. corks, cork taint, reduction errors, etc.

                        I sense Scott M. loves the aesthetics of the cork...as do I.

                        Aesthetics are an important consideration; they provide resonance and richness to an experience. As examples from my own life: I like wooden matches, prefer drinking vessels made of glass, and nearly always use cloth napkins.

                        I prefer a cork to a screwcap also because of its aesthetics, which include the ritual of opening and service. It's wine foreplay. Some of that is lost when dealing with screwcaps.

                        That being said, nearly every wine with a screwcap that I've tried has been wonderful.

                        There ARE problems with screwcaps and synthetic closures. They allow too little oxygen to enter the wine. This creates reductive errors and reductive flavors in the wine. Not all reductive flavors are bad, but most are.

                        Recently some screwcaps that allow a small amount of air exchange came on the market, thus reducing the percentage of reductive errors and flavors.

                        1. re: maria lorraine

                          Thanks Maria, I do like the aesthetics of cork. Another benefit for me is the cork can give some insight into how a wine was stored. If a wine is stored on it's side and exposed to heat the wine will move up the side of the cork possibly to the foil. If I purchase a wines from a retailer and notice the cork stained the length of the cork, this often is an indication the wine has not been properly stored or was exposed to extreme conditions. With a screw cap I do not get any indication at all.

                          1. re: maria lorraine

                            «Screwcaps are cheap. Cheaper than cork.»

                            Can you provide some stats, Maria? Haven't looked into this lately but I remember a synthetic cork manufacturer citing figures that had top-quality screwcaps costing about as much as top-quality corks, and that was before account was taken of the costs involved in rejigging the bottling line.

                            Personally, I'd gladly pay a premium to avoid cork taint. Foreplay may be fun but in this context it's ultimately beside the point. What's more, it's fleeting; the pain of pouring a 15-year-old bottle of 1982 Mouton-Rothschild down the drain isn't.

                            «There ARE problems with screwcaps and synthetic closures. They allow too little oxygen to enter the wine.»

                            Actually, one of the main problems with some synthetic corks is that the wine oxidizes prematurely. Which means they let too much oxygen enter the bottle, no?

                            1. re: carswell

                              I'm sorry; I don't have a cost comparison handy. I'm racing against deadline on three projects, otherwise I'd provide you with exact costs per 1000.

                              Fairly easy to find, though, if you compare the cost of 1000 screwcap closures to 1000 Amorim corks. Amorim is known as one of the cork manufacturers with the lowest percentage of tainted corks upon arrival at the winery. I distinctly remember the cost difference argument being made during the screwcap vs. cork debate held at Copia last year. However, the latest screwcaps have gas-permeable membranes under the metal cap (to reduce reduction) and are more expensive.

                              But the biggest point about closures that has to be made is...the closure has to be chosen for the individual wine. Screwcaps are best with white wines, wines meant to be drunk young, and with certain varietals that react more favorably from a chemical standpoint with reduction. Red wines, wines meant to be aged, and wines that absolutely cannot be exposed to reduction are better with corks. Expensive wines are usually closed with corks, partly because expensive wines are usually meant to be aged.

                              Scott M’s perception (or his perception of his guests’ perceptions) that a screwcap wine is a cheaper wine is both historically and currently accurate. Nearly 80% of all wine priced over $25 is closed with a cork, said the 2006 Closure Report from Wine Business Monthly
                              http://www.winebusiness.com/Reference...

                              That being said, I would hope Scott M arrives at the idea that a screw-capped Riesling may be the perfect wine to bring to an Asian resto to accompany the food, understanding that the most important aesthetics would be the sensory pleasures of the food and wine, not the closure. Or, that the best wine for a picnic or outdoor event may be a screw-capped wine. Perhaps Scott M can employ a certain stylish twist of the wrist that adds dramatic flair to the screwcap opening.

                              Something in this whole closure conversation that hasn’t been discussed is that cork has been unfairly blamed for taint that was actually created by the winery (TCA, TBA, or TeCA). I’ve seen it quite often. If I could, I’d go back in time to see which wines were tainted by corks, and which were actually tainted by the winery because it used chlorine compounds and constructed their buildings with preservative-treated wood.

                              “Cork taint” isn’t well understood. You still find wineries all over the world using chlorine bleach with water to flush tanks and hoses, creating the perfect conditions for TCA, trichloroanisole. Or wineries that unwittingly buy lumber for construction or wood shelving treated with TBP, which then changes into TBA. The wines become “corked” because of the chlorine and wood preservatives, and the corks are blamed. That’s not a reason to use screwcaps.

                              In fact, in those two instances just above, the wine closed with a screwcap will also be "corked," since the taint entered the wine through the pores of the barrel, or by exposure to air during any part of the production process. A “corked” screwcap wine.

                              Most good wineries who use corks batch-test them. They buy a big batch of corks from a good company, and use three dozen to bottle some wine. Six weeks later, the winery sends the bottles to a lab and has them tested for the family of taints (TCA, TBA, TeCA: the haloanisoles). The wineries consider it a cost-saving maneuver since they rarely have corked wines. Of course, if the winery is making the taint itself, then good-quality, untainted corks won’t matter.

                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                "Screwcaps are best with white wines, wines meant to be drunk young, and with certain varietals that react more favorably from a chemical standpoint with reduction. Red wines, wines meant to be aged, and wines that absolutely cannot be exposed to reduction are better with corks. Expensive wines are usually closed with corks, partly because expensive wines are usually meant to be aged."

                                I'd agree with you only if the bottler hasn't selected the correct liner. As you say, progress in liners to reduce reduction have been quite significant over the past few years. Wines can be bottled with inexpensive screwcaps provided they have an appropriately (and admittedly more expensive) permeable liner. Reduction is much less of an issue than with the non-permeable screwcaps that most people associate with cheap wines.

                                I'm thrilled every time I hear of a new winemaker experimenting with or transitioning to screwcaps, particularly for longer term agers. Even Ch. Margaux started with a percentage of screwcaps for their Pavillon Rouge (a mid-term ager) with the '03 vintage. Kudos to Steve Edmunds for switching to screwcap for his Bone Jolly gamay (a 3-5yr wine).

                                I've lost far too many good bottles to either cork taint or cork failure (a topic that hasn't really been touched on is this thread). When I'm in a wine shop, trying to decide between two bottles, if one has a screw cap, I'll take that over cork every time.

                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                  Maria, I was with you until this comment.

                                  >>> Scott M’s perception (or his perception of his guests’ perceptions) that a screwcap wine is a cheaper wine is both historically and currently accurate. Nearly 80% of all wine priced over $25 is closed with a cork, said the 2006 Closure Report from Wine Business Monthly <<<

                                  If you said that "Scott's perception that the horse is principally used in Europe and the United States for transportation and farming is historically accurate," that, too, would be a accurate statement.

                                  Europe and much of the world has little or no history with using a screw cap closure. The US certainly HAS used it for "cheap" wines (MD 20/20, Night Train, Thunderbird), as well as for jug wines (Gallo, ISC, Carlo Rossi, etc.). But there is far more jug wine made in California than there is $100+ Napa Valley Cabernets -- just as there are far more internal combustion engines on the road than hybrids (like the Prius) . . . doesn't mean that the hybrid drive is a bad idea; it means the hybrid is a newer technology and its use is expanding: from Prius to Camry to Highlander and to Lexus, as well as from Toyota to Honda to Ford . . . .

                                  The PERCEPTION that "screw caps = cheap" is the #1 reason why screw caps usage has not expanded faster than it is. Wineries are afraid to "look cheap."

                                  But when producers like PlumpJack, Bonny Doon, Argyle, and dozens of other domestic (US) producers use -- including high-end Pinot Noir producers -- screw caps for all or part of their production.

                                  Obviously many more producers in Australia and New Zealand use screw caps than they do here in the US. Why? Because there is NO historic association with screw caps = cheap . . .

                                  The same is true in Europe, where an increasing number of Loire Valley producers, as well as some in Burgundy, the Rhône, and Alsace are employing screw cap closures.

                                  AND, as I seems to have already said once, Château Margaux and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti are putting up part of their production in screw caps . . .

                                  1. re: zin1953

                                    And I don't want to come at Maria but this negativity toward screw cap closures wreaks to high heaven of snobbery which really suppresses wine's growth among consumers I think.

                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                      Don't misunderstand. I love screwcaps. I think -- and have said -- they are the preferred closure for some wines. I love the experimentation, the testing. The jury is still out on wines aged for lengthy periods with screwcaps, and on the reduction of reduction with the newer screwcaps. And actually, the jury is still out on cork taint also -- so much was not caused by the cork. I think the cork has been unfairly maligned.

                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                        ML, I'm in total agreement with your sentimentality in all respect to corks and love all the tradition and ceremony. On the other hand being a life long left coaster I have a strong affinity for the Monkey Wrench Gang, aka stirring the soup, aka something else to do with a monkey... to which I'm leading up to a post on CH (iirc) about a clever waiter breaking the screw cap seal just prior to arriving at the table, once there giving it a twist while making a popping noise, then removing the cap by sliding the neck of the bottle down his left sleeve and catching the cap in his hand. Talk about dinner and a show, necessity as a mutha, etc, etc.

                                        1. re: PolarBear

                                          That would solve the "What do I do now?" waiter issue I raised above.

                                    2. re: zin1953

                                      Jason/zin1953, I based my statement on the stats in the Closure Report, linked to above. You are correct that areas other than the US don't have the "Night Train" perception to overcome. But the perception is here in US buyers, and that's what the stat refers to and corroborates. I love that DRC and other wineries are playing around with screwcaps, and evaluating their usefulness. Both closures have appropriate uses. Time will reveal more about which closure is better for certain wines, the environment, etc.

                                      1. re: zin1953

                                        It's also worth noting that in Europe much of the trend toward screwcaps is being driven by British supermarket chains like Tesco, which are anxious to reduce the defect rate (almost certainly higher among cork-stoppered wines than any other luxury or semi-luxury product) and have the clout to do something about it. For what it's worth, the SAQ, one of the world's largest purchasers of wine, has announced that it is embracing screwcaps and glass stoppers, yet another sign that the sea has changed.

                              2. The original comment has been removed