Not at all, I was in Oregon about a month ago and did a winery tour of the Willamette Valley and 3 or 4 of the vineyards I went to changed to screw top and they were excellent wines. With corks and cork trees becoming more expensive you are going to see alot of rubber corks and screw tops. Save the trees...
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system. Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
cork has been used for a long long long time. cork oak is native to the Mediterranean area, so did the Phoenicians use cork? dunno, but sealed amphora from those eras are now and then found in shipwrecks.
there was a time when only the el-cheapo wines came with a screw cap. Thunderbird and the like . . . .
enter the composite plastic cork.
engage the debate: is the composite plastic better or worse than a (good) screw cap or cork?
as a wine guy once said: ask me again in fifty years
unfortunately, all the Phoenician and Roman wine critics are,,, uhm,,,, dead.
the basic question: "only cheap wines use not corks" is flawed
the arguments of "corks breathing", cellar aging, etc. are largely not applicable to white wines - whites are rarely aged to any serious time/decades degree.
which leaves "the reds" - and precious few of those have demonstrated unbelievable quality improvement by long term cellaring.....
just because some unopened bottle of 18-double-squat wine/brandy sold for billions does _not_ automatically imply it is still drinkable . . .
so, we're left hanging on both horns of the dilemma - centuries of experience that says cork works (uhmmm, the Phoenicians probably did not test the composite plastics . . . .) against the modern scientific community who can now prove to parts per trillion that cork-borne mold/fungus/nasties killed the wine
the "metal doesn't breathe" crowd - who unfortunately have that position harpooned by the fact that although metal is a really good gas barrier, there's a plasticized material as a seal between the glass neck and the metal cap that is _not_ such a good gas barrier.
don't ask me - I've decline all requests for interviews because quite frankly I expect to be in company with the Phoenicians in another fifty years . . .
Yes and no. It used to be that only cheap wines used screw tops and other wines used cork. It's not that the cork added anything to the wine, but it was a perception thing. Wineries are now trying to change that impression. Two major reasons for this as people have already stated above. First, cork is becoming more expensive and more scarce and secondly is the amount of wine tainted by bad cork. Some estimates have corked wines (wines tainted by bad cork) at almost 5% though most experts agree it is around 1-2% I believe. That's still a lot of money lost due to bad corks. Sure some of the ritual of wine service is ruined by using screw tops, but I think you will start to see more and more upscale wines going to screw tops in the future.
Another aspect of the move to screw-tops is the move away from lead foiling. Yet another is the cost and availability of good cork -- compared to the demand.
Some very good non-European wineries have moved to screw tops, at least for some of their wines. However, I can't think of any major European labels which have done so; and certainly none of the grand-crus or upper level riservas. That doesn't mean much though. There's plenty of things they do and don't do which don't mean much except as an expression of high self-regard; and many have had their share of scandals too.
I don't believe there's any difference between natural cork, plastic corks and screw tops when it comes to the beneficial effects of bottle aging. That's largely a chemical process of tannin conversion which relies on other compounds and gasses already in the bottle. Appropriate bottle aging can make a big improvement in wine with legs, but won't improve wines without them. There's also a limit to the improvement -- after twenty years max, the wine doesn't get any better it just becomes more problematic to keep. The reason a wine which was corked 150 years ago costs a lot, isn't the extra 135 years of aging but the rarity of the wine and the willingness of the market to bid for it.
Some white wines do bottle age well fairly well -- although they shouldn't be held as long as big reds. The oakier California Chardonnays are an example of wines which can cellar profitably for a few years and lose some of that oakiness.
Most solera wines, e.g., sherry age very well. Port really benefits.
Twist tops didn't all of a sudden appear last week.
30 years ago there was one right way to close a bottle of good wine -- cork and a lead capsule. Now vintners have several choices. Maybe none of them as good as quality cork and heavy foil. Maybe many of them better. But there you go.
My oh my, there are way too many pretensions surrounding wine. I'm actually thrilled to see the movement towards more economical and ecological corking.
Folks, it's packaging. As long as the packaging a) serves it's purpose b) does not modify or tint the taste, I'm all for it. I'd take good wine out of bucket if it tastes fantastic.
Reminds me, I am a huge fan of picnics, and seeing as public drinking is not really accepted (and heavily fined) around here, I have often said that someone needs to make mini wine boxes with straws, you know like the kiddy juice boxes? Well long behold, a friend has just brought back some from France for me!
I hear they are somewhat "controversial"... probably makes the plastic cork seem not so bad :rolleyes:
BTW, I believe Paris Hilton did a commercial or two for such a wine, or, now that I think of it, maybe it was canned wine ... yes, it was canned wine: German Canned-Wine Excitement With Paris Hilton That's a way to avoid both corks and screw caps :lol: