Actually, there is no technical reason wines with a screw cap won’t age as well or better than those with a cork. Needless to say, the cork industry and those wine producers that use cork in their bottling process would like consumers to believe otherwise. According to the Press Democrat, a Sonoma County paper, Northern California Wine Country wineries conducted a “…$300,000 campaign on local radio and Facebook where area wineries such as Jordan Vineyard and Winery, Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Rutherford Ranch Winery touted their use of natural cork.” Meanwhile, entire countries such as Australia and New Zealand, use screw caps for wine closures.
The fact is that screw caps are more consistent at sealing wine than cork. A study referred to in the highly respected industry magazine Wine Spectator (March 31, 2005, pages 59-60,) says that screw caps allow less oxygen to enter the wine bottle: .001 cc’s of oxygen per day on average for screw caps, versus .1 to .001 cc’s of oxygen per day on average for corks.
Like many businesses, some wineries are interested in lowering the expense of producing wine; steering clear of the rising costs of cork is one way to do that – and then pass the savings on to you. I consider that good news. So, while the tradition, drama and romance of popping the cork may diminish when you are opening that screw cap, it may be worth the savings if the wine is one you enjoy. Sip and savor!