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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are CORKS "BETTER than SCREW TOPS? by Philip S. Kampe

PICTURE THIS:
You throw a big dinner party. You serve wine from a SCREW TOP bottle. Your guests look at each other, expecting the ROMANCE of a cork. You open the bottle and the odor of cabbage fills the air? Sound familiar?

That is because the wine has been contaminated with DIMETHYL SULFIDE (DMS), a compound associated with the pungent aromas of canned corn, old oysters and cabbage.
Not an odor a dinner party patron desires!

Aren't SCREW TOPS able to eliminate wine faults? Well yes, but, they don't. Studies have shown that the air-tight seal that screw caps create actually INCREASES the likelihood and potency of DMS.

A 2010 study of California SAUVIGNON BLANCS found wines with SCREW CAPS had an average DMS concentration more than TWICE as high as wines using CORK. A 2007 survey of Australian and New Zealand SAUVIGNON BLANCS concluded that the DMS concentration was nearly THREE times as high among wines with SCREW CAPS versus CORKS.

The evidence from both surveys, which was conducted by the CORK QUALITY COUNCIL, strongly suggests that natural CORK closures with higher oxygen permeability protect better against excessive formation of DMS.

Isn't the notorious "Cork Taint" a major problem? The "Cork Taint" or TCA transforms the aroma of wine sealed with CORK into the stench of moldy newspapers. The answer is NO.

It once was a major problem, but, the winemakers and cork manufacturers invested Millions of dollars to develop new quality control measures and processing technology. Today, studies commonly show that 99% of wines sealed with REAL CORK from a reputable supplier are TCA FREE.

The virtual elimination of TCA and the likelihood of DMS contamination in wines with SCREW TOPS help to explain why winemakers overwhelmingly prefer 'Natural CORK'.

Of course the study was done by the CORK QUALITY COUNCIL. It makes you think!

+(As a side note, I prefer CORK because you can't go fishing with SCREW TOPS)+

PHILIP S. KAMPE
philip.kampe@thewinehub.com

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW..I am blown away from this information!!

Ulf Karlholm said...

Dear Philip,

It appears that Oregon State University got different findings in their study, compared to the ones conducted by the Cork Quality Council.

http://www.winespectator.com/blogs/show/id/45301

Cheers
Ulf