Wicked Wednesday-Tacky or Sensible?


There seems to be no denying it; screw caps on wine bottles are popping up everywhere. Today the Wickeds are weighing in. Do you feel you need to apologize for sharing a bottle that opens with a mere twist? Or are you glad to see the process streamlined?

Julie: Screw tops bring me back to my Riunite days from college.(Please watch this video. It explains a lot.) BUT, screw top wines have come a long way. And it is nice if you don’t have a cork screw handy. I do worry about left over wine, and whether screw tops keep wine fresh. But let’s face it, when the Wickeds get together, leftover wine isn’t really an issue.

Jessie: I don’t view screw caps as necessarily indicating inferior wine. I just feel sad about the downgrade in chicness. Can you imagine a romantic evening involving a bottle of screw top champagne? Does anyone else miss the brown waxed paper that used to keep crackers fresh inside their boxes or the white paper wrapping at the deli? I feel like corks are going to be on the list of things that used to be a part of everyday life and are no longer.

Barb: My thoughts are the same as Jessie’s. I don’t mind screw top wines and don’t think it’s necessarily an indicator of quality, but are we bringing up a generation that won’t know how to use a corkscrew? Will it go the way of learning how to iron, or learning to drive a standard?

IMG_2550Sherry: Yeesh, Barb I rarely iron and can’t drive a stick — let’s not talk about sewing. Screw tops, boxes, and corks — I’ve had it all. I don’t think that came out quite right. I’ve tried all three. We even tried wine in a glass once. I usually enjoy wines that are corked the most but that might be the friend from Sonoma County in my head. What about the bottles that are corked but the cork isn’t made of cork?

Edith: Sherry, that picture labeled Pinot Grigio looks like a Bailys Irish Cream chocolate parfait or something!

Anyway, I sympathize with Jessie and Barb. But I peruse many a wine aisle, and I think (hope, perchance) that the cork (cork or plastic) isn’t going away anytime soon. winepumpSort of like print books. Sure, there’s a new kid on the block, be it screw top or ebook, but it doesn’t mean the time-honored way of keeping the wine in the bottle is going away. They can coexist. As far as keeping wine fresh, white in the fridge is going to keep. For leftover red – don’t hoot too loudly, Wickeds! – I own some rubber corks and a pump thingy that lets me pump out the remaining air in the bottle so even red vintages don’t go bad.

Liz: Wow, guys, I have to say I haven’t thought much about this. Does that make me out of touch?? I do know I have an awfully hard time uncorking wine bottles, and then I just get annoyed. And it makes me want the wine even more! I think twists are my thing…

Readers: Weigh in on the question!

12 Thoughts

  1. To fully appreciate today’s post one must have a New England accent. You kids are too funny. Yes I am hooting, Edith. Rubber cork? With a pump?

    1. Reine, it’s for after the wine is open. Red wine spoils from contact with the air, so the pump takes the air out of the bottle. Waste not, want not! ;^)

  2. I remember once when I was in a grocery store in France, I came upon a quart (or should I say liter?) of wine in a waxed cardboard carton–and this was back in the 70’s. If the French thought it was okay, who was I to argue? While the caps fly in the face of tradition, they are probably more stable and dependable than organic corks (save a tree!) or plastic ones.

    1. Last night I walked by an upscale wine store. They had bottle in most of the racks, but a few cartons in one. I am going to go in and see what that is about.

  3. Did you know that if you take your cheese out of the plastic and wrap it in wax paper it lasts longer? Not all modernizations are better–sometimes they’re just cheaper for the manufacturer. If the wine tastes good, I prefer the screw top for ease of use. As for other “old timey” skills, I love sewing and I do know how to iron and I taught both my children.

    1. Karen, my grandmother was a wax paper fan, and pass it on to me. I wish they still made wax paper bags. I also sew (and knit). I know how to iron, but…

  4. When we were all kids wine was way, way less prevalent, more precious, and with a mere fraction of the vineyards and wineries. Now with every state (but one) in the U.S. having wineries, as well as countries like Tanzania, Chile, Australia having thriving wine industries, the pressure on the trees that provide corks must be intense. Taking enough cork for wine does not kill the tree, but there are simply not enough trees to provide that many corks, plus all the building uses of cork, ie, flooring. Also, the plastic corks use petrochemicals, which are a non-renewable resource, so it’s not surprising that vineyards are going more and more to screw-top bottles.

    If it’s ordinary table wine, under 20 dollars a bottle, I have no problems whatsoever with screw tops. Very fine wines, though, will be more likely to use real cork, I suspect.

  5. As long as it tastes yummy, I have no problem with the more convenient screw-top option. Am wondering if my cork collecting friends now have a bucket full of aluminum caps?

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