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The Telegraph (UK) had an interesting piece the other day on the increasing willingness of French winemakers to switch to screw-off caps instead of corks. While I can’t say I mind at all twisting the top off any bottle of wine I’ve ever purchased, the very thought of doing so with a Chateau Margaux is makes me dry heave.
“We started at the high end, because we are convinced that screw tops are perfect for fine wines that need to age, as they protect them better than cork from oxidation,” said Gregory Patriat, in charge of bottling at Boisset. “We’re not staying that corks are bad, it’s just that screw tops are better,” he said.
The bottom line is that screw-tops are better in every way save aesthetics. More than a third of all bottles produced in the world are already capped. My question is, what does this mean for the elaborate wine presentation ceremony? I don’t mind the antiquated protocol (after all, the whole cork-verification thingy did serve a historical purpose), but it’s part of what many Americans find intimidating about wine. The trimmed down version of the event will be a democratizing factor and help introduce more Americans to more wine. One can hope, no?