Screw cap vs cork. What’s better? Is there a difference? Does it matter? I’m Tim from Elma Wine & Liquor, I’m here to talk about screw caps vs corks. We get a lot of people in that are shopping for wine that take a look at the closure. Some people prefer screw caps, some people prefer corks. Very often we get asked, “Does it make a difference? Is one better than the other?”
Screw Cap vs Cork – It’s All Perception
There’s usually a stigma or a perception that a cork means better quality wine amongst people, but that isn’t always true anymore. We have here a nice $30 bottle of Pinot Noir with a screw cap. Same thing with a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Again, it’s about $30 screw top. Then I have a $4.99 bottle Chardonnay with a cork. The old perception that screw caps means a cheap wine, does not hold true anymore.
A lot of times you’ll still see a lot of real cork in the bottles, as well as synthetic corks. The reason that the winemakers have started realizing that the screw caps can be just as good, if not better than the corks, is that cork naturally has a substance called TCA. In higher quantities, TCA sometimes can contaminate the wine. That’s what gives the expression the wine is “corked”.
When you hear somebody talk about a corked wine or wine that’s gone bad, usually it’s because the cork that was put into the bottle has a higher than normal amount of this TCA. It’s hard to detect ahead of time, but it does happen in at least 1-2% of bottled wine. The winemakers decided to switch over to the screw caps, the stelvin screw caps as they’re more officially known. Stelvin was a company that first invented them back in the 1960s. They’ve become much more mainstream recently.
It’s Really Just Up To Your Preference
A lot of people prefer the screw caps today, because they’re easier to get open. You don’t need to play around with the cork screw and have the cork potentially break or fall in the bottle or break apart. It’s also obviously easier if you’re traveling or if you’re going to somebody’s house who you know doesn’t drink a lot of wine and may or may not have a cork screw on hand.
Putting a Cork In It!
That’s it, screw cap vs cork, the basic answer is it really doesn’t make a difference. If you’re more traditionalist, then you’ll like the whole process of opening a bottle of wine, of peeling off the foil and opening with your cork screw, then you can keep looking for your wine bottles with corks in them. If you just like to get your wine quicker the better, then screw caps are the way to go. But as for the quality of the wine it’s not necessarily an indication of which is better or which is worse.
Thank you very much for watching. I look forward to your comments and feedback, and let us know what other topics you’d like us to cover. Thanks very much.
Interested in any of the wines in this video? You can find them online here: