I Feel Screwed

Sometimes I feel like I'm selling myself short. Like I'm compromising my standards to adapt to the changing whims of an increasingly competitive industry. Case in point: The use of screw caps instead of a traditional cork finish. When this trend first appeared on the wine scene, I thought you've got to be joking?? Who on earth would want to buy fine wine with a screw cap finish?  Even the avant garde trendsetter wineries, who were first on the scene with these alternative closures, seemed destined for failure. Earlyclick to enlarge models were hard to open. They were sharp and tended to cut your hand if you weren't careful. But mostly they evoked memories of cheap low class jug wines drunk in back street alleys. On a personal level, I found the experience of a screw cap less than satisfying. I'm sorry but there's something missing from the sensory experience of opening wine when you simply twist your hand to the right, hear a slight "zzztt" sound, and presto magic, the bottle is open.

But as times change, so must I. And, so I've succumbed to the idea of screw caps in a big way. In fact it's so big that we just installed a shiny new Italian screw cap machine so we can start screw capping our Chenin Blanc, Fume Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc bottlings without the need to bring in a mobile bottling line.

You should know that this decision was not unanimous. In fact, my husband and I were polar opposites in our way of thinking. He felt strongly that distributors and the trade, particularly restaurants, would embrace our decision. I was convinced that the public, our loyal diehard Dry Creek fans, many of whom are very long term customers, would be put off by our decision. In the end, I lost the battle, so last year we started using screw caps on our 375ml bottles and now on the 750ml bottles of our major white wines as well. Do I like them? Not really. But they do have their distinct advantages.

The possibility for cork taint or "corkiness" is completely eliminated. There's no chance of being stuck without an opener if you find yourself on a desert island with only one bottle of wine left. And, they are generally a less expensive closure than the combination of a cork and capsule finish combined. Alas, we've gone and done it.

For now, I'm limiting our usage to our lively and refreshing white wines--what we refer to as "summertime in a bottle". I can't quite get behind the idea of a red wine in a screw cap yet, although the idea has been presented. For now, I'm sticking with tradition. And, the hope that there are others out there like me, who believe that the magic of wine includes the farming of the grapes, the appellation of origin, the artistry of winemaking, and the pulling of a little tan piece of bark, used for centuries around the world. 

| | Comments (10)


bowie Author Profile Page said:
February 24, 2012 12:11 PM

after more than forty years in this business I too have secumbed to tha concept of screw caps

Jack Rosano said:
February 24, 2012 12:13 PM

Wilma............please, please don't yield on the cork vs screw-cap when it comes to your great reds. Most whites are for sissies, so twisting caps off is no big deal for them!!!But, when it comes to opening a well-aged Dry Creek red, there is nothing like the sound and aromas of an uncorking event.
Jack Rosano, longtime member.

Martin and Audrene Beardeaux said:
February 24, 2012 12:29 PM

We only associate screw tops with low priced and not so good red wines. Please keep corking your delicious red wines as long as possible because half of the fun is the ceremony of uncorking, enjoying the aroma of the cork and saving the corks of the best red wines in our cork cage for disply to remind us and our family/friends of the good wines we have been enjoying over the years.

Marc said:
February 24, 2012 12:41 PM

As a response to Jack, above. Please, please, please yield to the screwcap!!!! When it comes to opening a well-aged Dry Creek red, there is nothing WORSE than the smell of moldy cardboard and wet dog of a TCA spoiled wine that I had been looking forward to enjoying.

Not a member, but a longtime DCV drinker and fan of the blog.

Marc Stubblefield

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
February 25, 2012 9:39 AM

Wow, thanks everyone for the great comments. Seems like screw caps are a rather controversial subject. Keep the great feedback coming, it's very helpful to me in making these kind of big decisions.

Bruce Carlson said:
March 19, 2012 4:59 PM

I'm with the screw! No one mentioned that it saves the oak trees, too, tho the farmers of same probably won't necessarily be pleased.

We have DCV wines with screw caps and a rabbit opener for the others, so I'm a valid one to compare them - maybe just a flaming liberal, but fond of both and find the new screw caps as provided on your DCV wines very easy to use and to reclose as the wine sits on its side in the fridge after opening.

Tradition is nice and all, but I like screws too.

B (and N, I think)

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
March 27, 2012 10:05 PM

Bruce-well you're about the last person I would have thought in favor of screw caps! Thanks for the feedback, miss you guys!

Yoleida said:
March 30, 2012 7:28 AM

we have groupon here in the uk but they never have such good deals as this one. I guess i'm a tiny bit jaeolus of all you guys and gals near washington as this would be a great intoduction to new world wines for those looking to learn more and at half price it's a steal.

Frans said:
March 30, 2012 11:22 AM

impressive you must have a killer Stiletto to get that cork open I can't bleveie Jeff still travels with his. hope you enjoyed that wine, it is well deserved. where are you guys?

Matthew C. Kriner said:
July 27, 2012 12:29 PM

Love this post... made me laugh right out loud! Bless you for sharing those moments. What an inspiration!

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This page contains a single entry by Kim published on February 24, 2012 11:45 AM.

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