Picture of a Stelvin-brand screwcap, used to s...
Stelvin-brand screwcap, used to seal a bottle of wine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a question we hear at the winery on a regular basis. There is something romantic about pulling a cork and hearing the Pop! It is, in a way, historic. Wine has been sealed with corks for years. Traditional cork also is a subtle way to say, “This is excellent wine. It must be because it has a real cork.” The cork can be an indication that the wine was stored properly. A firm cork indicates that the wine was sealed properly and allowed to age.

So what about plastic corks? Do they seal as well? Many people believe they do. Some people find the synthetic cork to leave a slight aroma that detracts from the wine. Many others prefer the synthetic because it is easier to pull and seals tighter.

So, what about that screwtop? It is a sign of cheap wine? Actually, no. A screwtop seals better than either cork. However, most consumers do not equate screwtop with quality, although that is changing.

Then there are the sealed plastic pouches. How are those for wine? They preserve the quality well and are easy to reseal. All you do is turn the spigot.

Currently, we seal our bottles with traditional cork. Will we ever switch? Good question. We have to think about a number of issues. First is consumer preference. What do our customers want to buy? How do they perceive quality? The second issue is economic. Changing from cork to screwtop or to sealed pouches means an investment in equipment and in different bottles or bags. As with any other business, a winery has to weigh the pros and cons, run the numbers and come to a decision.

So, that is our cork explanation in a nutshell.

Margo Sue Bittner
The Winery at Marjim Manor

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