Maybe you’ve noticed
I have. A lot of wineries are switching to screw caps for their wine.
What ever happened to the good old days of the cork?
Aren’t you missing something without the *pop* of the cork when you open the bottle?
Many wine enthusiasts and purists will tell you they will not buy a bottle of wine with a screw cap. No matter the Wine Spectator score. BUT, the tides are turning people! Upon a quick Google search to find said nay-sayers of the screw cap, I actually found many articles about why you should buy screw cap bottles. (And got completely distracted.) The nay-sayers are there, but they are being drowned out by the people who are more than happy to use screw caps! Which thrills me to no end!
choosing the alternatives
First, what are the alternatives? Well, I’ve created this handy list for you!
- Synthetic corks
- Boxed wine
- Canned wine (Seriously! Look!)
- PET (polyethylene teraphthalate) bottles (plastic)
Why would wineries choose to use these methods? For many reasons, but a lot comes down to cost and sustainability. Synthetic corks are cheaper than the alternative cork– especially if it’s a high quality cork. To back up though, a lot of wineries began to look into alternatives in the 1980s due to decreased cork quality leading to TCA cork taint. Plus, these alternatives have proved to be just as good for aging, more affordable, and easier to open!
I found this to be a surprising fact: wineries in Australia and New Zealand switched completely to screw caps after the TCA cork taint of the 1980s because it was already so expensive and environmentally bad. Now, you could visit either place and be hard-pressed to find a winery that uses cork!
why we use screw caps
Screw caps appealed to us for many reasons (and some critics might say it’s because we are millenials), but it really came down 8 reasons:
- Screw caps are fairly eco friendly* compared to cork.
- The statistically high percentage of cork taint was just unacceptable.
- Screw caps provide a perfect seal– doesn’t dry out like cork if not stored correctly.
- Cork purists prefer corks because they believe the small amount of air that is exchanged with a cork is necessary for wines. But due to the low amount of tannins in our wines this is completely unnecessary and can be problematic.
- Screw caps are easy to open! And close if you don’t finish the bottle all at once.
- Easy to take your favorite Soldier Creek wine on an adventure… and it’s okay if your forget your corkscrew!
- Screw caps were a more cost effective alternative to cork, enabling us to pass on a better price to our loyal SCW wine lovers!
- The studies on long-term aging with screw caps (10, 20, 30 years) is limited, but our wines don’t require long aging (because of low tannin) so this point is moot for us.
The wine climate is changing, and we hopped right on board! Wineries are moving towards more sustainable and user friendly wine containers and closures; from boxed wines to screw caps.
We are not at all against changing with the times, and we are happy to offer our wine lovers a superior product in a container that’s easy to open, easy to store, easy to close, and easy to drink 🙂
so, settle down with your favorite bottle of soldier creek wine and rejoice in the fact that you’ve chosen correctly, you savvy wine purist you.
With Midbest love,
*Some may argue that the eco-friendliness of the screw cap is equal to cork. But, let us consider these things: where cork is a renewable resource (albeit limited) aluminum caps can be recycled (cork cannot), creating cork doesn’t take any extra water than is provided by the environment where aluminum caps take quite a bit of water to product, BUT cork is only produced in a few locations around the world and therefore has a large carbon footprint when it comes to shipping to the wineries… aluminum caps can be produced all around the world and have a much smaller carbon footprint in comparison. There are many things to consider and the point could be argued at length, but we believe– overall– that aluminum caps are more green than corks or synthetic corks.