Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"The solution" to the solution of cork defects


The discussion on screw caps on wine has hardly passed anyone, even just remotely interested in wine. The screwed cap for wine were invented in 1959 in France but it took some considerable time before it really made it's way on to the market. Australia and New Zealand have been leading the development towards screw caps and by 2004 around 70 percent of the New Zealand wines were sealed with a screw cap, also known under the trademark Stelvin.

The one and only reason for inventing the screw cap was to get to the bottom with the problem of cork tainted wines. Cork defects are good for no parties involved in wine trade and changing for the aluminium/plastic hat should do everyone nothing but good.

Nevertheless the screw cap has met some resistance. Recently I went to the hairdresser here in Vienna and we started to talk about wine. I found out that she was fairly well oriented with the vast world of wines, at least the Austrian world... Anyhow it didn't take long until she started to talk about the "horrible development towards screw caps". She said I can live with that there are screw caps on cheap whites but for a wine that costs 4 Euro or more and definitely reds you want to have a "plopp". Without "plopp" all the fun was gone! That was her definite opinion and I started to wonder whether she at all considered the content of the bottle in her wine reviews or if it was only the plopping sound. I didn't pay much attention the the fact that she put the quality mark for one around 4 Euro since I've realized that an extremely small part of the wines bought here are actually priced over 4 Euro.

Now my hairdresser and all other "plopp" fanatics have a solution the the problem with non-plopping screw caps: The wine-disc. The wine disc might not give you a "plopp" from a non-plopping seal but it states on the web-page: "With this bottle opener we are aspiring to counteract the cultural loss represented by the screw top". It is simply wooden device with a metal coated whole in the middle. You press the screw cap into the hole and twist the wine-disc until you've opened the bottle.

To read more visit The winedisc homepage.

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Lucas Spinnars

Links:

A short note on a screw cap wine from Villa Maria
(Swedish)

The Wine Economist Writes about Corks and Screw Caps (2008 July 26)

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