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Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Bob Ross » Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:02 am

On Saturday and Sunday night, I enjoyed two different Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand as part of the Wine of the Month series on Netscape.

The first was under screwcap, the second under cork.

I was really surprised last night at how irritated I was to have to cut of the foil, dig out the corkscrew, and pull the cork. My uncapping experience the night before was simple and painless, and even replacing the cap was fun.

This is the first time I've really compared the opening experience with two similar wines essentially side by side. The screwcap experience was both more convenient and more pleasant.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:11 am

Right on Bob!! I have a whole bunch of elderly citizens in the wine cellar and I pull the cork with a fair amount of "goodness I hope it is not corked". Trepidation might be a better word! I have no fears whatsoever about the sc.
Any guesses where this thread is going to go??!
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Bob Ross » Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:17 am

You know, Bob, it wasn't the trepidation this time although perhaps unconscioiusly it was there.

It was the simplicity and fun of opening the screw cap that appealed to me so much. That, and the relative complexity of the corkscrew.

And, I did hesitate to start this thread -- but gee it was fun to open that first bottle. :-) I need to thank you for choosing Sauvignon Blanc for the Wine of the Month.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Carl Eppig » Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:17 am

I'll vote for screwtops, particularly on the 95% plus wines that ready to go on release. Struggled with one of them a few years ago when a certain lady from Kiwiland showed me on the old forum how to open it like you would a bottle of bubbly (holding the top and turning the bottle).
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:45 am

Bob Ross wrote:You know, Bob, it wasn't the trepidation this time although perhaps unconscioiusly it was there.

It was the simplicity and fun of opening the screw cap that appealed to me so much. That, and the relative complexity of the corkscrew.

And, I did hesitate to start this thread -- but gee it was fun to open that first bottle. :-) I need to thank you for choosing Sauvignon Blanc for the Wine of the Month.

Regards, Bob


Oh yeah, I am a big SB lush!! I hope it picks up over there but we are getting some good SB reviews, even if not on the announced wines!!! LOL.
I do have a Kim C ready to go. Glad you enjoyed the Hooded Crow video, has to be an escapee eh.
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by wrcstl » Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:51 am

Bob Ross wrote:This is the first time I've really compared the opening experience with two similar wines essentially side by side. The screwcap experience was both more convenient and more pleasant.

Regards, Bob


Bob,
I am not going to fan the fires of screwcap vs cork but your reason is what I would object to. Convenience is not the issue, IMHO, it is the condition of the wine inside.
Walt
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Bob Ross » Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:02 pm

"Convenience is not the issue, IMHO, it is the condition of the wine inside. "

Isn't it both, Walt? My impression from my current 8.2% corker rate is that condition of the wine inside is apt to be better under screwcap.

So I get the fun of the screwcap and better quality too.

At my age, it's unlikely that I'll be opening any wines with real age on them under screwcap.

In any event, I'm really sharing an impression -- it was more fun opening the screwcap than the cork.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Hoke » Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:32 pm

wrcstl wrote:
Bob Ross wrote:This is the first time I've really compared the opening experience with two similar wines essentially side by side. The screwcap experience was both more convenient and more pleasant.

Regards, Bob


Bob,
I am not going to fan the fires of screwcap vs cork but your reason is what I would object to. Convenience is not the issue, IMHO, it is the condition of the wine inside.
Walt


I think Bob is correct. Well, both Bobs, I guess. :) Convenience isn't the primary issue, I agree, but it is at least a part of why screwcaps make so much sense. The first issue is always the quality of the wine in the bottle. But making wine more convenient and less complicated to consumers is a compelling issue---especially with all the cranky baby boomers who want to be coddled on one end and the new young users who quite frankly don't see all the fuss and fury over corks on the other end.

Yes, there are a lot of folks who want to ritualize their wine experience and they tend to use tradition to do it. I can understand that. But there are a whole bunch of other drinkers out there who either don't want that, or don't need it, or have it satisfied in some other way than having moldy corks muck up an unacceptable percentage of wine while at the same time requiring cumbersome contraptions to get to the beverage in question in the first place.
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Sue Courtney » Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:43 pm

wrcstl wrote:
Bob Ross wrote:This is the first time I've really compared the opening experience with two similar wines essentially side by side. The screwcap experience was both more convenient and more pleasant.

Regards, Bob


Bob,
I am not going to fan the fires of screwcap vs cork but your reason is what I would object to. Convenience is not the issue, IMHO, it is the condition of the wine inside.
Walt


Walt,
From a New Zealand perspective, where where the use of screwcaps has spread like wildfire, convenience is one of the most important reasons for the closure's popularity with the buying public.
Of course the person who knows something about wine, who knows what cork taint and random oxidation is, will know that screwcaps were adopted by the producers who had the condition of the wine inside the bottle as the foremost reason. There were only 28 of those producers to start with but it didn't take long for the fence-sitter producers, those who said they were going to 'wait and see', to realise they were missing out on the market share by sticking with corks - on their early drinking wines at least.
I used to go to the supermarket and count how many Sauvignon Blancs were in screwcap. Now I go and count how many are in corks and I only need the fingers on one hand to keep the tally.
Cheers,
Sue
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Bob Ross » Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:10 pm

A couple additional points that may put my reaction into perspective:

1. The second bottle was not sealed with a natural cork, so cork taint wasn't in my mind.

2. I rarely open a screwcap -- I drink mostly red and most of those from my cellar -- so the screwcap experience was relatively unusual.

3. I notice that the olive oil I've been using is sometimes sealed with cork, sometimes with screwcaps. I've started to choose the screwcapped olive oils providing the dating is correct -- they are so much easier to open and close as I'm using them.

In any event, my report should be seen as a personal reaction -- one that startled me. So far, I've wondered if folks who find "romance" in cork closures don't have a point. In my case, that's no longer a consideration.

Regards, Bob
Last edited by Bob Ross on Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Ian Sutton » Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:19 pm

Bob
I never bought the "romance" side of corks. The bottom line is performance, now and into the future.

I agree that screwcaps are easier, though it wouldn't be a factor in my buying decision. I could possibly see it being a factor if I was feeling lazy and just wanted to grab a bottle and get it open quickly - or if I wanted a wine for a picnic.

It's good that you've raised this though, as I suspect it will be more of a factor with the general wine-buying public.

regards

Ian
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Hoke » Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:29 pm

It's interesting that you're considering the screwcap vs. cork thing as a matter of aesthetics of the functional experience and its influence on the overall aesthetics of the sensory experience, Bob.

(It's also typical of your thoughtful and analytical approach to all you do, I might add.)

I had come to the same conclusion some time ago, not so much in an Aha! moment but more as an honest appreciation that the function of twisting open a cap (which gives both tactile and auditory signals) is or can be quite pleasing, whereas the more complicated multi-step approach of knife/foil/corkscrew is not necessarily all that necessary, and indeed loses its appeal quite rapidly.

After one gets accustomed to the ease of access---and gets comfortable with new traditions replacing the old traditions---wrestling with all that folderol becomes almost fustian, quaintly Edwardian, smacking of waistcoats and watchfobs over large bellies.

I know some people like that. And I confess that I do occasionally. But I also appreciate...very much appreciate....excellence in design, and form following function. And in that sense, the function of the aesthetics of the screwcap is vastly more appropriate than is the cork.

And now that I am deeply immersed into the intricacies of "A Short History of Wine", and the transitions that occurred over the ages (as well as the accompanying reluctance to accept them), I'm even more convinced that the "closure controversy" will be resolved much more quickly than most people think and even the cork fanatics will soon wonder what all the fuss and fury was about. :)
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by TimMc » Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:53 pm

[ahem]

You guys will be happy to know that while in San Francisco last week [Giants won, too!] I actually bought a Bonny Doon Big House Red...with a screw cap. Yes I did.




They say the nightmares will be ending soon....
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by David M. Bueker » Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:57 pm

TimMc wrote:[ahem]

You guys will be happy to know that while in San Francisco last week [Giants won, too!] I actually bought a Bonny Doon Big House Red...with a screw cap. Yes I did.




They say the nightmares will be ending soon....


Yeah. Once you buy enough screwcapped wines you'll never lose sleep over TCA again.
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Victorwine » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:07 pm

Next thing you know- a single serving of wine packaged in a tetra-pack box (with a straw attached to it) is fashionable because it’s “convenient” (or for the “romantic type” servings for two with two straws; or the “party pack”, multiply servings and multiply straws).

Salute
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by TimMc » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:11 pm

Victorwine wrote:Next thing you know- a single serving of wine packaged in a tetra-pack box (with a straw attached to it) is fashionable because it’s “convenient” (or for the “romantic type” servings for two with two straws; or the “party pack”, multiply servings and multiply straws).

Salute


Careful, you'll anger the metallic enclosure police.


Just nod and smile...nobody gets hurt. :wink:
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Bob Ross » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:46 pm

But Tim .... did you drink it?
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Graeme Gee » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:52 pm

Victorwine wrote:Next thing you know- a single serving of wine packaged in a tetra-pack box (with a straw attached to it) is fashionable because it’s “convenient” (or for the “romantic type” servings for two with two straws; or the “party pack”, multiply servings and multiply straws).
Salute


Nah - most of these packaging solutions are doomed by oxidation problems, surely?
-Graeme
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by TimMc » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:56 pm

Bob Ross wrote:But Tim .... did you drink it?


I did, yes....but I felt vaguely ill.


My buddy and his wife liked the wine and they experienced no negative reactions.





Beer drinkers.
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by Covert » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:37 am

The Peripatetic world switched from pay phones to cell phones overnight. Why isn’t the advantage of a screwcap just as obvious? Are wine drinkers less intelligent than average people?
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by David M. Bueker » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:44 am

Covert wrote:The Peripatetic world switched from pay phones to cell phones overnight. Why isn’t the advantage of a screwcap just as obvious? Are wine drinkers less intelligent than average people?


And superheroes the world over lost their favorite places ot change into costume. The loss is incalculable. Superman now has to change in a back alley.
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by wrcstl » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:45 am

Covert wrote:The Peripatetic world switched from pay phones to cell phones overnight. Why isn’t the advantage of a screwcap just as obvious? Are wine drinkers less intelligent than average people?


Some of us are. I am waiting for Lynch Bages in a bottle with an internal plastic bag and a nipple. Wait, this has already been invented. Wonder if anyone has put wine in it. Sounds like the ultimate seal, ease of use and oh so romantic.
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by wrcstl » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:51 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
Covert wrote:The Peripatetic world switched from pay phones to cell phones overnight. Why isn’t the advantage of a screwcap just as obvious? Are wine drinkers less intelligent than average people?


And superheroes the world over lost their favorite places ot change into costume. The loss is incalculable. Superman now has to change in a back alley.


I am a major Superman fan from years back. This is one thing that always bothered me. I don't think the loss is incalculable and the phone may not have been the major place for him to change clothes. Phone booths have windows. Wouldn't everyone see him change? Time on my hands.
Walt
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Re: Screwcaps vs. corks -- a personal experience.

by David M. Bueker » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:59 am

wrcstl wrote:
Covert wrote:The Peripatetic world switched from pay phones to cell phones overnight. Why isn’t the advantage of a screwcap just as obvious? Are wine drinkers less intelligent than average people?


Some of us are. I am waiting for Lynch Bages in a bottle with an internal plastic bag and a nipple. Wait, this has already been invented. Wonder if anyone has put wine in it. Sounds like the ultimate seal, ease of use and oh so romantic.


TMI...TMI...
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