Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 26th February 2018

Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 26th February 2018

Screwcaps make getting into a bottle of wine so easy that you wonder why some producers still stopper their products with small pieces of oak tree bark whose primary goal seems to be getting in the way of enjoying wine.

Corks work best when kept moist through contact with the wine – a horizontally stored bottle achieves this. But less than optimum bottle storage angles and temperatures, along with cheap chipboard-like corks made from waste cork crumbs stuck together, all allow the cork’s integrity to fail before it’s entirely removed from the bottle neck.

So the too often sight of torn and crumbling corks greets us along with bits of cork floating in the glass and then getting between the teeth.

Plus there’s the issue of ‘corked’ wines. This is a nasty bacterial infection brought into the wine through improperly sterilised corks.

The wine industry admits that between one and twelve bottles in a hundred suffer from this complaint: if your bottle is infected it will taste and smell horrible, rather like damp cardboard.

So how can you avoid crumbly corks and ‘corked’ wines? Buy wines bottled with a screwcap that’s how.

But these metal caps haven’t always had it all their own way. Until very recently they were known to suffer from poor adhesion to some bottle shapes and so it wasn’t uncommon to find spinning, rather than opening, caps as insufficient grip with the bottle’s screw thread stopped the collar seal from breaking.

All that seems to have been sorted along with its image: 85% of regular wine drinkers say they find screwcaps perfectly acceptable while 42% claim they actively like buying wine with a screwcap.

PG Screwcapped Wine Reviews

McGuigan Australian Classic Pinot Noir 2017
£5.35 Sainsbury’s
Flavours of blackberry and apple pie with a bit of plum. Shame it couldn’t provide the custard too.

Co-op Fairtrade Argentinean Pinot Grigio 2016
£6.49 Co-op
Extremely floral in aroma and flavour. So if you like your whites tasting of roses then this is the wine for you. Match to lighter Asian dishes.

The Capeography Seascape Malbec 2017, South African
£8 Booths
Not too oomphy for a Malbec with useful food-matching flavours of creamy plum and black coffee.

Ragged Point New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2017
£8.99 Majestic
Lemon, apple and gooseberry flavours.

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© Paula Goddard 2018