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Thomas

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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Thomas » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:04 am

TimMc wrote:Or...we accept the reality that screw caps carry with them the negative vision of white port in a curled-back brown paper bag held by a derelict on skid row.

After that fact dawns on the rabid screw cap-heads, maybe then we see the problem with your prediction.


Happy trails. :wink:


Happy trails Tim. When I encounter ideology without thought I, too, retreat. :(
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sam Platt » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:26 am

Tim,

I love the charm of a crank phone with a funnel mouth piece. I find the brisk rythmic tapping of a manual typewriter to be extremely evocative. Yet I still use a cell phone and a PC. Technology marches on and we have to let go of the past. The evidence ovewhelmingly indicates that screw-caps protect wine from damage better than cork closures. Embrace the future, Tim. Love, or at least accept the superiority of the screw cap.
Sam

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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Howie Hart » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:35 am

After reading through the previous posts, I don't believe cork vs. screwcap is an either/or situation. I think there's a place for both. Just as certain grapes produce better wines in certain growing areas, some wines, but not all, may benefit from aging in a cork closure. As screwcaps assume a greater share in the market for those wines where they are appropriate, there will be less demand for cork. This decrease in demand for cork should allow the cork industry to increase quality control, be more selective and provide corks with better reliability. Which wines should continue to be closed with cork? I would guess wines that are expected to be cellared for a long period, but I'll leave that to the experts. In the meantime, cellared wines that are bottled under cork until things improve will have that certain TCA risk.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Victorwine » Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:39 pm

Nicely stated Howie.

Salute
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Thomas » Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:09 pm

Seems this subject has slightly shifted toward viewing the screwcap situation not as an answer to the TCA problem with corks, but as an assault on the consumer's desire for cork. You have to remember that the screwcap debate is a function of trying to solve a problem, not trying to change the consumer's access to any particular product.

Howie, if cork is in less demand wouldn't that make its unit cost to producers go up, especially if fewer cork producers remain after some have to fold for lack of profit and if the remaining ones not only control the market but have to pay for their increased quality control? I don't view that as a plus.

To me, it would be better if the industry either finds an overall solution to the TCA problem with cork or changes directions. It matters not whether the industry uses cork or screwcap, so long as I, the consumer, am not penalized for their choice. Right now, the cork choice penalizes me every so often, and usually at an inopportune time. That plastic nonsense penalizes both me and my corkscrew. Thus far, the screwcaps I've encountered haven't penalized me. I'm not saying they won't in the future, just saying that they are the only ones that haven't in the present--besides, I'm Italian-American; we don't live in the future ;)
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Howie Hart » Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:59 pm

I think we're really saying the same thing. Of course the cost of Quality Assurance for taint-free corks would increase the cost. The winemaker will have to make the determination, but the cork cost in a $50+ bottle of wine is almost trivial. My feeling is that wines that have a long tradition of cork closures and the corks are considered an essential part of long term cellaring should stick with what they have found to be successful. The rest of the wines would probably be better with screw caps. The problem then becomes one of perception. While I believe Tim's perception "that screw caps carry with them the negative vision of white port in a curled-back brown paper bag held by a derelict on skid row" is ridiculous, at the other end of that line of thinking would be wine marketers trying to have their product perceived as a quality product because it has a cork, thus defeating the argument to use a screwcap. Perhaps winemakers could bottle a certain percentage, say half, in cork and half in screwcaps to allow consumers who do cellar wines to choose their closure type. Over time, trends would be established and the same wines judged by the consumers on their own terms. Regarding your statement about the vast majority of wine being consumed within hours of purchase, and also the fact that the vast majority wines are meant to be consumed within 2 years of bottling, these are wines that should be bottled under screwcaps.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Thomas » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:23 pm

Yep Howie, we are close in thinking on that.

I suppose Tim's single-minded, one issue attitude put me in the wrong frame of mind!

Incidentally, last night I opened a 1999 Chateau Fonbadet Pauillac--two of them actually, as the first one was cork tainted. The second was still drinking reasonably well, but slowly fading from pencil shavings to where I can imagine a magic marker in its future...but that still would be better than TCA.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sam Platt » Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:24 pm

Howie,

Well stated. I think the key is determining when, if ever, the cork is a key factor in the maturation of a wine. I am of the opinion that cork closures are almost a sign of disrespect to the wine contained within. For a wine to have the opportunity to show its best a seal should be used that will not taint it. A screw cap physically cannot contribute to the TCA taint of a wine. Based on what I know of the microbiology and mass transfer occuring in a wine bottle, it appears unlikely that a cork closure is aiding the aging process. The risk in using a cork closure is high and the reward is low. Therefore, why not minimize the risk.

PS: I know that you are not arguing otherwise.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Victorwine » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:02 pm

Again Howie nicely stated.

The screw cap IMO is a “fix” for wines that are meant to be consumed fairly quickly, or for wines that the winemaker wants to remain fresh and fruity until the consumer drinks it. But for wines that have the potential to age I do not believe the screw cap is the answer. Yes there are many articles suggesting that oxygen is not an agent of bottle aging but than again there are an equal number of articles suggesting some amount of oxygen is necessary for worthy wines to mature properly. As Howie suggested let the so called experts bump heads.
Surely a wine that is fresh and fruity at bottling that when under screw cap will remain fresh and fruity is most definitely a good thing. But a wine that is slightly “raw and young” at bottling when under screw cap will it remain “raw and young”? (If this is the case, this IMO is not a good thing. (Some might ask-why bottle such a wine? Experience with cork and proper cellar conditions has shown us that such a wine can transform into something great or even magnificent). A couple of years ago I remember reading an article (Just Drinks) about a South African wine producer who revised plans to use cap screws for his Cab Sauvignon after performing a small trial (50% under cork, 50% under screw-cap), after 18 months the screw-cap wines were “raw and young” when compared to those samples under cork)..
As far as the TCA problem- does everyone truly believe that those in the cork manufacturing business will let their industry die? With a motto like- “If it isn’t real cork take a walk”; I don’t think it’s ready to roll over just yet. We will just have to wait to see if the various newly developed handling processes (Diamond, Rosa, or the Symbois processes) for natural cork and better quality control systems and procedures can be done successfully on an industrial scale.
All at the same time I’m sure analytic chemists, scientists in the field of both microbiology and molecular biology are busy trying to unravel the mystery of bottle maturation.

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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by TimMc » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:12 pm

Thomas wrote:
TimMc wrote:Or...we accept the reality that screw caps carry with them the negative vision of white port in a curled-back brown paper bag held by a derelict on skid row.

After that fact dawns on the rabid screw cap-heads, maybe then we see the problem with your prediction.


Happy trails. :wink:


Happy trails Tim. When I encounter ideology without thought I, too, retreat. :(


Retreat...? :shock:


Have you been reading me, I mean, at all?
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by TimMc » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:20 pm

Sam Platt wrote:Tim,

I love the charm of a crank phone with a funnel mouth piece. I find the brisk rythmic tapping of a manual typewriter to be extremely evocative. Yet I still use a cell phone and a PC. Technology marches on and we have to let go of the past. The evidence ovewhelmingly indicates that screw-caps protect wine from damage better than cork closures. Embrace the future, Tim. Love, or at least accept the superiority of the screw cap.


And the Beta folks thought they'd beat out VHS, too.

Guess what? VHS was the product of choice....just like cork is now. How about that.

You can claim all the high ground you care to, Sam, but the bottom line is screw caps are widely rejected and wholly unproven.

Your less than circumspect talk only supports my position on the matter: Wineries will go screw cap to save money and preserve cork for their high-end wines. All of which is based upon the unfortunate assumption that those of us without the pocketbook to buy abusively expensive wines drink the low-end stuff in short order.

Apparently, you would prefer we "great unwashed" corkheads would stick to beer instead. Lucky Lager, maybe? We obviously aren't smart enough to accept screw...caps.


I am very sorry to find you so reticent, Sam.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by OW Holmes » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:17 pm

Why is it this topic generates such heat?
Every time?
How about some new topics:
Cabernet is better than Pinot Noir!
Left Bank Bordeaux is better than Right Bank.
Monet is better than Van Gogh.
Australian Shiraz sucks as compared to French Syrah.
WLDG is better than other boards. Ah HA! We've got a winner. At least here.
-OW
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sam Platt » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:30 pm

Tim,

My interest in screw caps is purely selfish. The fact is that I have never had a corked wine served to me under screwcap. The issue hit home after I spent 20 minutes arguing with an Italian waiter over whether, or not a wine was corked. A screw cap would have saved my time, the waiter's time, and perserved my good humor. I will even concede (though I am unconvinced) the "age worthy wine" agruement. However, of my 142 bottle inventory I have approximately 18 bottles that I plan to hold for any period of time. The rest will be consumed within a year, or less. I have no real interest in ceremony, only in good tasting wine. Screwcap gives me the best opportunity to open a wine that is well preserved. I care not if I look like your average "Night Train" drinker as long as my Valpolicella doesn't taste like fermented dishwater.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Howie Hart » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:18 pm

OW Holmes wrote:How about some new topics:

How about those new hybrids?
Beaujolais Nouveau verticals?
An '03 Alscase horizonatal? :wink:
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sue Courtney » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:03 pm

Thomas wrote:Seems this subject has slightly shifted toward viewing the screwcap situation not as an answer to the TCA problem with corks, but as an assault on the consumer's desire for cork. You have to remember that the screwcap debate is a function of trying to solve a problem, not trying to change the consumer's access to any particular product.

Howie, if cork is in less demand wouldn't that make its unit cost to producers go up, especially if fewer cork producers remain after some have to fold for lack of profit and if the remaining ones not only control the market but have to pay for their increased quality control? I don't view that as a plus.

To me, it would be better if the industry either finds an overall solution to the TCA problem with cork or changes directions. It matters not whether the industry uses cork or screwcap, so long as I, the consumer, am not penalized for their choice. Right now, the cork choice penalizes me every so often, and usually at an inopportune time. That plastic nonsense penalizes both me and my corkscrew. Thus far, the screwcaps I've encountered haven't penalized me. I'm not saying they won't in the future, just saying that they are the only ones that haven't in the present--besides, I'm Italian-American; we don't live in the future ;)


There is always the technical cork, e.g. the DIAM, which by all reports from the AWRI trials and with my brief encounters, has not shown TCA or other problems, but the people using them do not seem proud of the fact and if they can't tell me there is a DIAM 'technical cork' inside, I will, like you, choose the screwcap every time - if I have a choice. And there are plenty of darn good wines to choose from these days.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sue Courtney » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:04 pm

OW Holmes wrote:Why is it this topic generates such heat?
Every time?
How about some new topics:
Cabernet is better than Pinot Noir!
Left Bank Bordeaux is better than Right Bank.
Monet is better than Van Gogh.
Australian Shiraz sucks as compared to French Syrah.
WLDG is better than other boards. Ah HA! We've got a winner. At least here.



Good idea!
Once upon a time there used to be a Friday Troll. I think some of your topics would be grand candidates.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Isaac » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:14 pm

And Beta was a better product, just like the screw cap seems to be. That VHS won out was a triumph of marketing.

So, unless you're asserting that the cork is inferior, but we should use it anyway because it's more popular, your analogy is a poor one.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sam Platt » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:27 pm

Monet is better than Van Gogh.


The difference between Van Gogh and Monet in twenty words, or less:

Monet painted nature as an overstuffed easy chair. Van Gogh painted nature as a serial killer lying in wait.

PS: It's a little known fact that both Monet and Van Gogh preferred wines closed with screw caps.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Bob Ross » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:37 pm

Sam, I'll never doubt you again; using "screw cap", "Van Gogh" and "Monet" in the same era seemed a bit of a stretch.

But just look at three events within eight months of each other:

1889 Aug 10, Dan Rylands patented a screw cap.

1890 Van Gogh painted "A Woman from Arles" shortly before his suicide. He also painted "Thatched Huts of Cordeville."

1890 Claude Monet painted "Field of Poppies."

There was some wonderful creativity in the air, wasn't there?

Well done, very well done indeed, Sam.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sam Platt » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:01 pm

Bob, I am glad that someone recognizes my bullsh... er ... brilliance! You probably also know that Van Gogh actually killed himself as a result of a deep depression over the continuing use of cork wine bottle closures. As he lay dying from his self inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, Van Gogh's last words to his brother Theo were "Enlevez ce liège de ma vue!" ("Remove this cork from my sight!"). With that he expired. Cork killed Van Gogh. Psst! Back me up on this one Bob.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Bob Ross » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:55 pm

Hmmm ... tougher, Sam. Here's Google's take on his dying words:

"Your search - "Enlevez ce liège de ma vue!" - did not match any documents.

Is there any possiblity that he would have spoken Dutch to his brother in those moments? :-)

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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Thomas » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:57 pm

I don't know in which language he said it, but what Van Gogh said to his brother was, "You see what happens when you live a life praying for romance and getting TCA in return. Get this cork out of my ear." And then, like Citizen Kane, he mumbled something the meaning of which scholars have yet to figure out; it sounded like, "Tim-bleh."
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Sam Platt » Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:36 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Is there any possiblity that he would have spoken Dutch to his brother in those moments? :-)


Bob, The native language issue is really a minor aside. Dying words always sound better in French. Besides, I don't know any Dutch. If you would have just nodded your head I might have had some readers convinced. :wink:

I think Van Gogh's dying words were something like "The sadness will never end". I will concede that it is likely he spoke those words in Dutch.
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Re: Screwcaps give faultless performance

by Neil Courtney » Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:53 pm

De droefheid zal nooit beëindigen

I don't speak (or even read) Dutch either, but just how good Babblefish is, I'm not so sure.

Translating this back into English gives "Desolation will conclude never". :lol: :lol:
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