What do you prefer, a cork or no cork? That is my question. For me, the answer is pretty simple—both. However, there is one exception. If it’s a wine that can be aged for more than five years, I personally prefer a cork, but ninety percent of wine should be consumed within one year. Since I am not a cork snob, there are some fantastic wines with traditional corks, screw caps, and also synthetic corks.
A lot of my guests here at Nino’s are put off by the screw cap, and I can understand that, especially if they are sitting in a five-star restaurant and ordering a nice bottle. The waiter walks up and just unscrews it. When that happens, you kind of lose the ambiance of watching the waiter struggle with the fancy corkscrew.
However, you will find a lot of wineries are choosing the screw cap instead of the cork, especially in New Zealand and Australia.
Why don’t you decide? They both have their pros and cons. Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose.
Screw caps are a more affordable option for the winery, and they are definitely easier to open. Also, long-term aging studies have shown positive results. They are also recyclable, and you don’t have to worry about cork taint in these bottles.
Corks from the cork oak tree are historically preferred. Although they are not recyclable, long-term aging has been proven. It is very expensive for the winery, and there is always a chance of the dreaded trichloroanisole (TCA), or cork taint, a natural compound in wine. When it is at a higher level, it gives off the odor of musty, wet cardboard. This wine is known as a corked wine.
Some wineries now use a synthetic cork made from high-grade thermoplastic that is not only FDA-approved but also recyclable. These corks are opened with traditional corkscrews. Here are some excellent screw-cap wine choices.
La Vieille Ferme Rouge 2014-France
It’s a great value for the price. The nose is rich and spicy with ripe fruit. On the palate, there’s blackcurrant and blackberry, with spice and a fresh finish.
Robertson Winery Chenin Blanc 2015- South Africa
A great value! This one features aromas of pineapple and pear, with lots of citrus and lime zest on the finish.
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014- New Zealand
This one has the aroma of grapefruit, kiwi and lime. On the palate, you’ll notice stone fruit and lemongrass, ending with a luscious, mouth-watering finish.