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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    corks v. screw tops

    We have previously debated the merits of corks versus screw tops. I have maintained that the screw top is superior for sealing and that the only merit of the cork finish is image. Now comes a report that PlumpJack, a California winery, is releasing a limited bottling of a 1997 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, at $135 a bottle, with a screw cap top. The reason? They believe "screw tops are actually a superior device for a wine that will be at its peak after 2010." In that time, as many as 10 percent of corks will shrink or crack and if they aren't replaced, the wine will spoil. The metal screw top with a foam insert (so the wine doesn't actually contact the metal) will theoretically keep an airtight seal indefinitely.

    What's next? Chateau Petrus in a box?

    --Chuck Cowdery

  2. #2
    Guru
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    Re: corks v. screw tops

    Chuck,

    I came across your post while doing a search that was prompted by the following quote from a post by Julian (in the "storage of Bourbon" thread):

    "I wouldn't put that bottle in thew attic. If it gets too hot like Chuch said, the cork will pop out. I've had that happen in my car, and I know it can easily get that hot in an attic in the summer.

    "Keeping it on it's side should not hurt it. That would only be a problem if the cork is "corked" as in a bottle of wine. If the bottle is "corked", the whiskey is already bad."

    Note especially his last sentence.

    I wonder who else in the industry shares that opinion. (I also wonder why the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye that I'm drinking right now comes in a corked bottle.)

    In any case, I haven't found that the screw cap hurts the taste or the image of the ORVW bourbons I have tried (10/107 and 15/107).

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  3. #3
    Administrator in exile
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    Re: corks v. screw tops

    Chuck,
    I agree with you that the screw top is far superior to a natural cork stopper when it comes to a pure seal. Screw tops don't seem to bother me much with bourbon, but I just don't want to "unscrew" my Pinot Noir before dinner. Many wineries have now switched to either synthetic cork, or rubber corks. I have never had a wine that has gone bad because of a defective synthetic cork, and you still get all of the ambience of opening the bottle. I think it's the way to go for both wine and bourbon.

  4. #4
    Virtuoso
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    Jul 2002
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    1,237

    Re: corks v. screw tops

    Ah, but the screw tops don't "pop" when you open them. I love the sound of pulling a cork out of the bottle each time I open it for a pour. To me, it is part of the experience of drinking a fine bourbon.

    However, I would be quite happy with synthetic cork instead of natural. I know the synthetic is better and I don't have any snob hangups with anything that is not natural cork.

    In other words, as long as I get my pop, I am happy.

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2007
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    Re: what are you uncorking right now?

    Screw it; taking inspiration from yet another wacky forum thread, I just uncorked the (old) grand daddy corker of them all--OGD 114. This monster bourbon's got one monster of a cork.

  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
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    Mar 2003
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    104

    Re: corks v. screw tops

    I agree with the notion that the "pop" adds something special. It takes me back to that first bottle of Wild Turkey that I popped open a long time ago (I'm ashamed to say that I spend several futile seconds trying to twist it off like a screw top before realizing there was a cork attached to it!).

    Tommy

  7. #7
    Administrator in exile
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    Re: corks v. screw tops

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    I'm ashamed to say that I spend several futile seconds trying to twist it off like a screw top before realizing there was a cork attached to it

    [/QUOTE]

    Would that have been your 2nd bottle tommy

    Welcome to Bourbonia!!

  8. #8
    Taster
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    Mar 2003
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    98

    Re: corks v. screw tops

    you can't beat the sound and feel of pulling a cork. I always picture the old west saloons. Think next time I will pull the cork out with my teeth for the full effect.Also corked bottles usually have a logo of some sort on the top of the cap, and the screw caps usually are just generic with no logo.

    also I think that plastic bolltes are just awful. makes they whiskey seem so cheap.

  9. #9
    Enthusiast
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    Feb 2003
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    England
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    Re: corks v. screw tops

    I'm with Tommy on this one.
    As a kid and a couple of years drinking Jack D and Jim Beam white, I bought a bottle of Wild Turkey. The cork was a real bonus, as was the 101 proof. I also remember my first bottle of Maker's - one of my faves for years now.
    After breaking the seal I was horrified to find a screw cap and the spelling "Straight Bourbon WHISKY" (where's my cork and where the hell did the "E" go?) I didn't buy any more for a good year or so. Silly now I think about it.
    Corks - I like 'em! John Wayne biting one off and spitting it away - Hell I guess he's gonna have to down the whole bottle!
    Also what guy doesn't like to remember the first time he "popped his cork."

 

 

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