Bust open a screw top wine at your next dinner party and your guests might assume you've nipped across the road to the gas station for the evening's plonk. But does the screw cap deserve its reputation as the cheap and cheerful counterpart to the cork? Not so fast, bucko.
...the screw cap not only avoids the problem of tainted cork, it forms a tighter seal. Most critics say that this guarantees a better flavour for all but the more expensive wines (which may age better with more oxygen).
"We prefer seals that ensure the wine is not going to be faulty," says Ewan Murray, spokesman for the Wine Society. "Wines that are ready to drink young are always going to be fresher under a screw cap."
Wine experts and critics from across the spectrum, even Robert Parker, freely admit that from a pure technical perspective, a screw cap is a much more effective method of preserving the contents of a bottle, and it entirely removes the possibility of wine becoming "corked".
But for a lot of people, the cork is so much more than just a device designed to keep the wine in the bottle. It's an experience.
...for wine lovers, the distinctive creak and pop means something good is happening. It triggers associations - social intimacy, relaxation, nuanced aromas, celebration - that go far beyond just a slug of alcohol.
So a large bottling company and a cork conglomerate teamed up to make a handscrew cork. All the ceremony of a cork with the convenience of a screw cap. Clever compromise.
What do you think of screw cap wine?