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Howie Hart


The Hart of Buffalo




Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:13 pm


Niagara Falls, NY

Bottle closures for home winemakers?

by Howie Hart » Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:51 am

I thought about responding to Bob Ross's thread on "Screwcaps vs Corks", but I think this topic probably deserves its own thread.

One of the limiting factors for a home winemaker is the type of bottle available. Friends and neighbors save their empty bottles for me, which I laborously de-label clean and sterilize. Almost non of these are screwcaps. In fact, currently, if someone does give me a screwcapped bottle I throw it out. I notice three types of screwcapped bottles: the first is the old standard 750 ml bottle with a 28mm (?) screwcap, the second is the standard gallon bottle closure 38mm (?) and the third is the type that is on a "Dr. Loosen" bottle (is this Stelvin?). Years ago I put up some of my wine in gallon jugs. My only question about these is "Is the Stelvin types significantly better than the first two, and why?"

Regarding standard cork type bottles, the choice of closure are real corks, composite corks, synthetic corks and apparently Zorks. I've only used the first two for the past 30 years and have good luck, and could count the number of "corked" bottles on one hand. I've considered synthetic corks, but just haven't made the jump yet. I need to study what synthetic corks are available and which are better. Also, although a Zork looks cool, is it really any better than a synthetic cork? One of the factors in making a decision is the type of wine being bottled. I'be be reluctant to put up a Cab or Merlot (or any wine I wished to age for a long time : >3years) in a screwcap or synthetic cork, but wouldn't have a problem with most whites and Roses.
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Ernie in Berkeley


Wine geek




Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:58 pm

Re: Bottle closures for home winemakers?

by Ernie in Berkeley » Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:22 pm

I wonder how much of a problem this is. While I'm not very sensitive to TCA, I haven't noticed many bad bottles in eight years of winemaking. Corks work just fine for me. Even if a small percentage of bottles were corked, there are still dozens of bottles to replace them, given the amount of wine I produce every year.

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