Cork Bottles vs. Screw Top Bottles

We’ve all seen the varieties of wine bottles, some with cork used to seal them, some with screw tops. Which is better? Does a screw top mean a bad wine? Does a cork stopper mean a fine wine?

The answer is it doesn’t necessarily matter. Cork is the traditional material used to seal wine bottles. And is still used by many fine wine makers. But cork is a natural substance. It grows as the inner bark of the a Mediterranean Oak tree. Once harvested, that tree requires 7 to 10 years to grow back enough cork to be harvested again.

As the world required more and more cork, the supplies diminished. Wine makers had a harder and harder time purchasing cork. When new winemakers came onto the market, getting any cork for their bottles was almost impossible. So they turned to new methods to seal their bottles.

A synthetic cork-looking stopper was created first. It still requires you to use a corkscrew to open the bottle, but these do not break up like true cork can. So that was an added advantage.

Then new winemakers realized this is a whole new age. Why stick with traditions when it’s unnecessary? The looks of the bottles and labels became more unique and the names of wines and the wineries went modern. Along with that came the screw tops, even on fine wines. New winemakers were developing great wines and completely abandoning the idea of competing for cork.

Just because a wine bottle has a screw top rather than a cork stopper means little as to the quality of the wine. A big advantage of the screw top is that you are not required to store the wine on it’s side. Nor do you need a corkscrew to open it. So try both kinds and see if you can tell the difference.

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