The bottle off – Screw cap wine vs. Corked wine

wine cork

Credit: Ralph Unden


To screw or not to screw

Mind out of the gutter please. I’m talking about screw caps vs. the good old traditional cork. If you go to your nearest bottle shop, or your wine cellar, for those of you that have one, you will notice almost 99% of wine bottles are now bottled with a screw cap rather than a cork. Screw caps are nothing new. In fact, screw caps have actually been around for over 40 years, with the branded name ‘Stelvin caps’ being commercially produced back in the 1970’s. A French creation, the screw cap among Australian wine makers has rapidly gained popularity in since the 2000’s.


wine screw cap

Credit: Robert Hodge



So are screw caps really better than corks? To shed some light on this matter, I decided to make a pros and cons list of the screw cap.

The pros

Screw caps really do keep your wine in better condition

A secure seal means that no air can enter the bottle, resulting in the wine being able to retain its flavour and characteristics when first bottled. The humble cork, on the other hand, can change in shape over time, allowing air to enter the bottle and spoil your wine. Eww. Have you ever tasted a spoiled wine? While it won’t make you sick, it will give you a nasty look on your face when drinking it, similar to if you drank a bottle of vinegar.


You can keep your wine for longer

The secure seal means you can store that bottle of goodness for much longer than a cork would. Not only that, but you can also reseal the bottle once opened for drinking later on; that’s if you can resist the temptation of pouring yourself another glass – Go on, you deserve it. You’ve had a long day.


Screw capped wine bottles can be kept standing up, rather than lying down in a wine rack

While I do love the look and old school charm of a wine rack, the convenience of being able to store my wine standing up suits me down to a tee. I have a lot of floor space I can fill.


No odours can enter a screw capped wine

I don’t recall anyone saying ‘I love it when my wine tastes like fridge’.


You can easily open them

Quick and easy access, with a simple twist of a screw cap means you can throw out those bottle openers, and free up your cutlery draw.


They’re recyclable

Always a bonus when the environment is involved.


The cons

The demise of the Champagne cork

While I understand the ease of opening a screw capped wine, I really do hope that the champagne bottle retains its cork. The sound of that cork when popping a bottle screams ‘celebration’ to me. I don’t think a screw cap would ever be able to replace that. It would be just like opening up a bottle of soft drink.


No bottle openers in the cutlery draw

Probably shouldn’t have been so hasty when throwing them out earlier.


BYO Restaurants charging you a corkage fee with a screw capped bottle

Really? You want me to pay you for unscrewing my bottle? If you really must charge me, rather than charging a corkage fee, please charge me a ‘screwage’ fee, and I will be happy.


Credit: Jeff Kubina

Credit: Jeff Kubina


So there we go. The more screwed capped bottles in my life, the better my wine will be. I’ll pop the champagne cork for that.



Until next time wino’s,



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