I find the reassuring "Pop" of a cork part of my Bourbonic enjoyment. The glug, glug as bourbon comes through the neck of the bottle. The tinkling of an ice cube. Its all part of the experience.
When you want a fine wine, do you look for a screw off top? To me, way back in the back of my mind (behind all the cobwebs and useless trivia) cork says QUALITY. And for all of you who have problems with corks drying out and requiring replacement, last night I was on a mission to Bed Bath and Beyond for bar accessories and lo and behold there were bags of six replacement corks hanging on an end display. So rather than fish around for an old cork you've saved that may meet the same crumbling fate, there is a source for replacements.
I keep a little box of corks from the 'dead soldiers', partly because of some fine memories they went with, and partly because the corks come in handy from time to time when an in-use cork bites the dust (I, too, HATE when that happens, Tim!). The bottle corks are not tapered, so getting the right fit means trying a couple, but then it's perfect. Standard corks, like the drawerful in my lab, are tapered and I just could not bring myself to use one, even a new one, unless my box of used bottle corks was unavailable. They would be good with a jug, though.
I have an old "cork roller" in my lab. No need for it these days, since corks are not much used in chemistry labs, but it is an interesting device. It is hard to describe, but its purpose, I'm told, was to soften and "break in" a cork, so it would be easier to use, bore, etc.
Are the Bed Bath and Beyond corks tapered? Cheers, Ed
Ed, looked to me to be straight corks with plastic caps but I didn't inspect them too closely. I don't have anything old enough to need them yet. YET
I like corks because:
They sound cool
Opening a corked bottle makes me feel like I'm in a western
EC12YO has one
The number one reason, if a cork goes bad I have to drink all the bourbon in the bottle.
Definitely corks. Whether wine, beer, vodka, rum, or whiskey, I really like the cork. It just adds to the whole experience. Save the screwtops for milk and soda. On liquor I feel it adds a touch of class. On Wine, I demand it. I drink wine rarely, and always in the presence of company deserving of special treatment (females, preferably atractive ), and opening a corked bottle is just another part of the experience. Beer bottles with corks are actually fairly common on Belgian beer if you buy the 750ml bottles. It's topped off like a champagne bottle, with the little wire cage you untwist. Since those beers are large, strong, and expensive, they're special occasion beers for me, and firing off the cork sure is a lot of fun.
Screwtop doesn't always mean "plonk" anymore. Aussies and New Zealanders especially have been involved with extensive study on long term effects of natural cork, synthetic cork, and screwtops on wines. Natural cork is losing out in those studies. The cork is a relic and associated with romance of opening bottles, but with taint and breakage often a problem, I'm all for the Stelvin closures or synthetic corks. Ages ago people closed up amphoras and other containers with rags or whatever they could think of. Imagine the talk that must have ensued when someone came up with this cork notion? "Give up my rags? You have to be kidding me?" Many wineries have moved to screw tops even on their high end bottlings. Randall Graham of Bonny Doon held a big hoopla here in NYC a while back where he took corks in a casket through Grand Central as a public way of saying, "Time to move on, folks." I have a section in my store just for quality screw top bottles to assist folks to begin thinking about it more positively.
I voted pro-cork.
Screwtops work fine, but as Dane has already touched on, I associate corked bottles with higher-end stuff. In fact, the only bourbon I drink regularly that DOESN'T have a cork is AAA 10yo.
A high end bourbon that i drink that has a screw top is four roses super premium... also the 15year van winkle... (price may not be high end, but the taste certainly is)... I'm suprised there are no bourbons with synthetic corks... I have popped quite a few bottles of wine with those 'fake' corks... some in the $10 range, but some in the $20 range as well, so it's not just a cheapness thing... you get the 'feel' and impression of quality of a cork, yet the synthetic cork will not rot on you or impart tastes upon the product...