Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.

Crown Caps For Our Wine Bottles?

Given a wine with a track record of quality, I would surely buy under crown cap
6
24%
No promises, but with a wine I know to be of quality, I would consider the option of the crown cap
12
48%
I would probably not buy a wine bottled under crown cap
7
28%
I don't give a damn what wine it is, I won't touch it if it comes under crown cap
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No votes
 
Total votes : 25
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Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Daniel Rogov » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:37 pm

Follow this or any other wine forum or, for that matter, any wine magazine, newspaper or wine blogger and it does not take long to realize that the cork versus screwcap versus artificial cork argument rages the world over. I'll take it all just a step further. A good deal of current research (University of Adelaide, Cornell University, Univeristy of California at Davis, University of Montpellier and the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan are starting to show that crown caps may be no less and possibly more effective than screw caps. Crown caps, for those not familiar with the term, are those closures used to seal Coca Cola bottles and a great many beer bottles.

According to current research (much still in progress), just as the screwcap can allow for a certain amount of air exchange (much as does cork), so can the appropriately designed crown cap. Better yet, according to part of the research, crown caps seem to eliminate problems with reduction that are often reported with screwcaps.

In the name of eliminating TCA taint, a great many of us are willing to give up cork, its associated traditions and our perception of romance for the screwcap. Putting it to the test – how far are we willing to go? Would you buy wines bottled under crown caps. In addition to your vote, please note your reactions and comments (for example, in re wines to be consumed in their youth, wines for medium- or long-term cellaring; high quality wines versus everyday quaffers, etc.) Let us also keep in mind that although no-one has written a paean of praise to the screwcap, a great many people collect and by heaven even blog about crowncaps.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Ian Sutton » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:22 pm

Not dead against it, but not very clued up on any trials that have been run - presumably Aussie FRS - aka sparkling burgundy aka sparkling shiraz would be one of the earliest wine types under this closure?

In some ways I'd be happy to diversify on seals, as we still wait to see how the great seal debate ends up. Proportionately I still have way too many cork sealed wines if balancing of risk were the aim.

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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Loweeel » Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:55 am

Ian Sutton wrote:Not dead against it, but not very clued up on any trials that have been run - presumably Aussie FRS - aka sparkling burgundy aka sparkling shiraz would be one of the earliest wine types under this closure?

In some ways I'd be happy to diversify on seals, as we still wait to see how the great seal debate ends up. Proportionately I still have way too many cork sealed wines if balancing of risk were the aim.

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The Majella 2005 Sparkling Shiraz is bottled under Crown Caps. I haven't had it, but I loved the '04 (bottled with traditional sparkling wine cork closure), as did GaryV, who gave it a high score.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Daniel Rogov » Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:19 am

As is fairly well known (hell, it is so well known that just about everyone teases me about it), I am not a great fan of screwcaps and avoid them whenever possible. It may thus surprise that I probably wouldn't hesitate to buy a bottle sealed with a crown cap. That of course on two conditions - first the wine must either be something "just for fun", a light, frivolous wine meant for early consumption under formal or informal circumstances, and second, if the wine is anything more than that, that it too must be destined for relatively early consumption and have a track record of a positive nature in my earlier experience.

Not long ago, for example I posted the following tasting note:

Mionetto, Il Rose, Veneto, n.v.: Coming in a bottle with a crown cap (the kind that closes a bottle of Coca Cola) and provided with a straw gives the first clue that no-one will or should ever take this wine seriously. Made from Raboso grapes (a red variety indigenous to Veneto, usually providing a coarse, tannic wine) blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and with short skin contact before fermentation, the wine in the bottle has a too- too cute, too-too pink color but once poured into glasses looks more normal for a rose. What surprises is that this off-dry, lightly frizzante wine is an absolute summertime delight, light- to medium-bodied, with not at all offensive sweetness set off nicely by acidity and showing crisp and refreshing aromas and flavors of blueberries, peaches and apples. As I say, nothing serious, but when it comes to summertime quaffing at a reasonable 10.5% alcohol level, this one is fun. Drink up. Score 86.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Ian Sutton » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:55 am

One area that might shed some light, is beer, more specifically bottle-conditioned beer, some of which is intended to keep and improve. I'm not sure what seals are used, but IIRC crown cap is typical, but I'm sure I've also seen cork. It would be interesting to get views. [edit: just asked for info on beer-pages]

Did Seppelt go for crown caps on the SOSS? IIRC they always did seal it with crown cap during ageing (pre-disgorgement), but then used cork to seal it before public release.

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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Daniel Rogov » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:13 am

Ian, Hi.....

I have also seen cork closures for beers - not only those made for aging but for those bottled in 750 ml. or liter-sized bottles. Of several recently enjoyed, I think for example of some of the beers of Hoegaarten and King Cobra. It is my understanding that these, similar to many wines made by the methode Champenoise, are sealed with crown caps until disgorgement.

Beyond that I'd suggest looking to Michael Jackson (not the singer but "the beer hunter") for expertise.

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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Neil Courtney » Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:02 pm

Coco Cola has a crown cap? In New Zealand it comes with a twist off plastic cap with a seal that gets broken on first removing it.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Matilda L » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:15 pm

Sparkling wines under a crown seal? I'm all for it.

A number of Australian sparkling wines - both white and red - are now offered to the market under a crown seal. These include Hollick Coonawarra sparkling merlot, Seppelt Salinger, Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz, Seppelt Show Sparkling Shiraz, Chandon ZD, as well as the already-mentioned Majella Sparkling Shiraz. We're not talking about the cheap end of the market. I haven't had a bad experience yet with a crown-sealed bottle, and I have no problems about aesthetics or tradition.

After all, a sparkling wine fermented in the bottle wears a crown seal while it is fermenting and maturing, and the cork is put in after disgorging. The use of a cork at this stage is largely to do with public expectation. Maybe that's shifting - or starting to shift. If the shift happens and we see more sparklers under crown seal, I'll be happy to buy and drink them.

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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Ryan M » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:22 pm

No promises but would consider. As Rogov has noted, the only wines I've seen under crown cap are Mionetto. For friviolous sparklers like that, it might just be the perfect closure. I think I'd be most comfortable with it for young drinking wines, whites in particular, and that purely a personal perception/aestitics issue.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Robert Reynolds » Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:46 pm

Neil Courtney wrote:Coco Cola has a crown cap? In New Zealand it comes with a twist off plastic cap with a seal that gets broken on first removing it.

Here too Neil, on these new-fangled plastic bottles at least! Sometimes I miss the old green glass Coke bottles with the crowns.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Bill Spohn » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:23 pm

Would have no compunction about buying early drinking wines that way.

I would not buy serious long aging wines bottled under crown or screwcap. Any Latour for me had better have corks - I understand and can quantify the risks with cork, but have no idea (nor, I believe, does anyone else) how a wine will age for several decades under either of the alternative closures.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Daniel Rogov » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:31 pm

With re Coca Cola........At least throughout the Middle-East and most of Western Europe, Coke continues to come in several forms - glass bottles,invariably with crown caps; plastic bottles, invariably with plastic screwcaps, and tins with snap lids. As to sizes, from 250 ml - 1.5 and occasionally 2 liter bottles or plastic containers.

Is it no longer that way in North America?

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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Shlomo R » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:44 pm

For simple wines meant for early consumption, no problem with crown caps.

Re bottle conditioned beers and beers for aging, I have seen both crown and cork, although the cork is typically the sparkling wine type with a knob on the top.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Robert Reynolds » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:02 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:With re Coca Cola........At least throughout the Middle-East and most of Western Europe, Coke continues to come in several forms - glass bottles,invariably with crown caps; plastic bottles, invariably with plastic screwcaps, and tins with snap lids. As to sizes, from 250 ml - 1.5 and occasionally 2 liter bottles or plastic containers.

Is it no longer that way in North America?

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IT's still that way here Rogov, although the glass bottles are increasingly harder to find. Bottlers don't like them, since they have to be sterilized to be reused, and the costs associated with gathering and trucking the glass bottles back to the bottlers keep going up.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Neil Courtney » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:02 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:With re Coca Cola........At least throughout the Middle-East and most of Western Europe, Coke continues to come in several forms - glass bottles,invariably with crown caps; plastic bottles, invariably with plastic screwcaps, and tins with snap lids. As to sizes, from 250 ml - 1.5 and occasionally 2 liter bottles or plastic containers.

Is it no longer that way in North America?

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The glass bottle is long gone here. But we do have the 330ml aluminium cans with the tear tab. Plastic bottles come in 1.5li and 2li sizes. Coke comes in various flavours now. I tried a vanilla flavoured one once. It was horrible.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Jeff_Dudley » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:09 am

I know Coca-cola is still bottled in glass bottles in North America (Mexico) for the local market; the sweetener used in that formula is still sugar from sugar cane, rather than from a corn sweetener. The sugar cane version is quite a bit better to my taste, and you can occasionally find it in that form in SoCal.

I've recently seen that it is still offered in glass bottles in Belize, Guatemala and Columbia.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Robert Reynolds » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:23 am

Neil Courtney wrote:
Daniel Rogov wrote:With re Coca Cola........At least throughout the Middle-East and most of Western Europe, Coke continues to come in several forms - glass bottles,invariably with crown caps; plastic bottles, invariably with plastic screwcaps, and tins with snap lids. As to sizes, from 250 ml - 1.5 and occasionally 2 liter bottles or plastic containers.

Is it no longer that way in North America?

Best
Rogov


The glass bottle is long gone here. But we do have the 330ml aluminium cans with the tear tab. Plastic bottles come in 1.5li and 2li sizes. Coke comes in various flavours now. I tried a vanilla flavoured one once. It was horrible.

Whoever was responsible for that vanilla Coke atrocity should be drawn, quartered, hung and shot (in no particular order)!
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:02 am

Ah, but there were what we like to think of as "the good old days" when Coke was drawn from a soda fountain, a few drops of vanilla syrup were added and then, very gently two scoops of vanilla ice cream added to the glass. I have no idea how I would react to such a beverage today but memories from the age of say 12-14 linger nicely.

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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Robin Garr » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:02 pm

Jeff_Dudley wrote:I know Coca-cola is still bottled in glass bottles in North America (Mexico) for the local market; the sweetener used in that formula is still sugar from sugar cane, rather than from a corn sweetener. The sugar cane version is quite a bit better to my taste, and you can occasionally find it in that form in SoCal.

I've recently seen that it is still offered in glass bottles in Belize, Guatemala and Columbia.

In the Louisville metro (and I suspect, just about every US city where Mexican and Central American immigration has increased in recent years), most taquerias stock the "hecho en Mexico" Cokes. As noted, they're outstanding - the can sugar makes a huge difference - although I like the Jarritos fruit drinks generally sold in the same quarters even better.
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Loweeel » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:25 pm

Robert Reynolds wrote:Whoever was responsible for that vanilla Coke atrocity should be drawn, quartered, hung and shot (in no particular order)!

The word is "hanged".

As Mel Brooks so aptly made the distinction in History of the World, Part I:
Maidservant: If they're caught, they'll be hung!
Empress Nympho: Not necessarily...
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Re: Wine Poll #012: True Grit = True Controversy

by Ian Sutton » Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:47 pm

The beer-pages folk confirmed that bottle-conditioned beers for ageing were typically sealed with a crown cap, though corks have also been infrequently used. Also one producer - Carrillon - who seal with a cork and then pop a crown seal on top...

Although more complex than such a simple comparison, this suggests that crown seals should be an option for longer term storage.

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