Corks are the traditional method of sealing wine bottles and have been used in Europe since the 1400’s. Corks are made from the bark of a Cork tree which is a natural substance that is incredibly easy to mold to shape. It also has a bit of spring to it meaning it can be compressed and creates an airtight seal in the bottle. That said, cork is almost three times more expensive than a screw cap alternative for wine manufacturers. Cork is also susceptible to rot and shrinkage if it’s dried out which causes the wine it has been keeping seal to become “corked” and turn to a vinegary liquid.
Screwcaps were introduced first and foremost as a modernisation of the traditional. They were cleaner and cheaper to manufacture meaning vineyards could cut packaging costs and focus more on their wine ranges, however the screwcaps were shown to not allow the wine to breath. Screwcaps also do not have the cork taint issue that corks have as they are usually made of stainless metals.
The final line on it is this. Cork caps are traditional but the flavours of two wines from the same supplier can be slightly different. Screwcaps deliver consistency of flavour. Corks are seen as higher quality finishes which is not always the case. Screwcap wines last longer in storage but require more time to breathe once opened. Dont be afraid to pick up a screwcap wine, but at the same time, cork is held in higher regard for aged wines. It is really down to personal choice at the end of the day.
Which will you choose next?