Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 27 February 2017

Paula’s Wines of the Week starting 27 February 2017

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


Tesco Italian Valpolicella

£5.50 Tesco

A lighter red with cherry, plum and a dash of liquorice.


The Legend of Big Bill, Red Blend South Africa 2015

£5.99 Aldi

A easy drinking fruity red with lots of flavour and lots of alcohol – watch out for the 14%.


Hardys Stamp Australian Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016

£6.50 Tesco

A light white with flavours of apple and almond.


The Big Top Californian White Zinfandel Rosé 2015

£7.99 Virgin Wines

Strawberry and lemony rosé with an alcoholic content of just 10.5%.


McGuigan Founder’s Series Australian Merlot 2016

£9 Sainsbury’s

A nice wine with flavours of plum, strawberry and lots of chocolate.


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© Paula Goddard 2017