Over a relatively long life of opening wine bottles and enjoying (or not) the contents, I’ve regularly questioned wine drinking companions, winemakers and other wine industry insiders about bottle closure. I believe I’m sufficiently nose-sensitive to recognize the off-odors of corked, as well as other faulty wines. But I haven’t been convinced that the percentage of corked bottles is as high as the champions of non-cork closures tend to report. Yet, those corked wines certainly do exist, and it’s a shame to open a bottle that’s been saved for many years and then find it corked upon opening in front of friends and family. The anticipatory moment is unrewarded, and the planned enjoyment of the wine is lost. Also lost is the damn cost of a good bottle of wine. I know the positive arguments about screwtops and intellectually understand their benefit. I’ve enjoyed many wines that came with a screwtop. A few have been faulty, but none have been corked. Still, I prefer pulling a cork. What to do? What to do?
I agree Dave that I don’t think the percentage is as high as stated.
I don’t like the reports I’ve heard about wines not evolving under screw cap. That’s not the experience I look for with ageing wine. I’m willing to risk the occasional corked bottle to have the traditional evolution that occurs with a wine under cork.
Sorry guys, but I beg to differ. While the number of corked bottles may not be as high as some screw top proponents suggest, they will fall disproportionately amongst your priciest bottles. The off-putting taste will be magnified over the years and what wines are you saving for years? Your most expensive and most treasured. I’ve had two bottles of my 1998 Sassacaia turn up corked. If I had been opening the wine in 1999 maybe I wouldn’t have noticed it, but now those wines stunk. Give me the artificial closures before I spend four figures for a first growth.
I am a fan of closure/screw top and the wine does age, albeit slowly. I am tired of opening precious bottles only to have them tainted. I am waiting patiently for a first growth to say enough is enough and break away like Australian Henschke’s Hill of Grace wine has done with their top wine!