Screwcaps make opening wine bottles much easier

Screwcaps make opening wine bottles much easier

Paula Goddard’s Wines of the Week starting 02 March 2020

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 Wine Reviews

Estrada Douro Branco 2019

£8 Co-op

This wine from the Co-op is part of its new “green” range with wines made sustainably. Which is all fair and good but does it taste great? The aroma is inviting fruity with fresh pear, apple and peach but the taste is a little disappointing with less depth than the aroma leads you to expect. Dry and crisp.

Hardys Crest Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc 2019 1.5 litre box

£11 Asda (equivalent to £5.50 a bottle)

Excellent value for money in this two bottle equivalent wine box. Fruity melon and a touch of gooseberry with a grassy edge. A good match for many foods.

Trapiche Medalla Argentinian Malbec 2016

£11 Co-op

Intense and luscious Malbec. Slightly smoky but also cherry and blackberry liqueur flavours.

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© Paula Goddard 2020