I am asked often what is preferred–cork, screwcap or artificial cork? I do think that the hype of corked wine (wine that has expired due to cork failure) is over inflated. I am not sure that 10% which is a number often cited as a percentage of corked wine is accurate. I open up hundreds of bottles of wine per year and the number of corked wines I have experienced is certainly well under 10%.
I do enjoy and terribly so opening up a bottle via a traditional cork. I like the challenge of opening it; I like the pop and it feels like the effort I should undertake to enjoy each bottle of wine I am to experience. And if I cannot have a cork I will gladly take a screwcap. A screwcap is easy to open and in my opinion too easy to open a bottle of wine. I do like a challenge. But the screwcap does not misflavor the wine; a synth cork truly is a terrible way to cap a wine. The flavor leaves any wine completely off. There is a plastic flavor that is imparted on the wine. A synth cork is noticeable, for me, on the finish and it is most unpleasant. I will always knock a point off of the wine I am reviewing by a whole point (on a ten grade scale) if it was capped with an artificial cork.
A wine maker that I see occasionally loves the synth cork and wants to switch her premium wines to synth cork; I have of course given my thoughts but I think it is a pure economic situation why she feels this way. So don’t be afraid of a screwcap but do avoid an artificial cork.
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