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 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...
While cork = perceived higher quality, it's worth pointing out that there is a definite movement in the wine industry towards synthetic corks. What's more, some higher end wine merchants are currently experimenting with screwtops for premium wines, in order to reduce spoilage (due to tainted corks). So... years from now... perhaps the good ol' screwcap will not be the underling that it is now.
I voted for cork. I especially like the customization that a bottler can offer: a distinctive wooden top, or embossed messages. Yes, it adds to the cost of bottling, but it also adds to the experience!
Corks definitely have the psychological edge. They do impart a feeling of quality, perhaps antiquity, even; it somehow feels more authentic to UNPLUG the bottle, and PLUG it back up again, than it does to screw on a plastic cap from the MACHINE WORLD.
Having said that, however, I have noticed that I get a cleaner pour from bottles that have a plastic, screw-on cap. When I pour from corked bottles, I always get a drip running down the side of the bottle, but something about the lip of the screw-on variety prevents that.
Has anyone else experienced this? Am I the only one?
I can't decide how to vote. On one hand, I like corks as long as they are functional. But on the other hand, I have had several corks break off in the necks of their bottles. When that happens, it can be a major pain to get the bottom half of the cork out without it crumbling into the precious liquor. I hate it when that happens.
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
No doubt! And it seems no matter how much effort I put in, there's always some lingering 'floaty' that remains just to tick me off!it can be a major pain to get the bottom half of the cork out without it crumbling into the precious liquor.
I had one so bad I finally just had to push it into the bottle and do a whole bottle transfer.