Does screw top wine mean cheap?

Answered by Robert Golston

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I have come across the misconception that screw top wines equate to being cheap. However, this is far from the truth. While it's true that screw tops were traditionally associated with cheaper wines, the landscape has shifted significantly in recent years.

It is important to note that the closure of a bottle, whether it is a cork or a screw top, does not determine the quality of the wine inside. There are exceptional wines that are sealed with screw tops, just as there are mediocre or even poor-quality wines sealed with corks. The closure method is simply a matter of preference and practicality for winemakers.

In fact, screw tops have gained popularity among many winemakers, particularly in the “new world” wine regions such as Australia, New Zealand, and parts of the United States. This is due to several advantages that screw tops offer over traditional corks.

1. Consistency: Screw tops provide a more consistent seal, ensuring that the wine remains unaffected by cork taint, which can negatively impact the aroma and flavor of the wine. This means that screw tops can actually help preserve the quality and integrity of the wine.

2. Convenience: Screw tops are easy to open and reseal, making them ideal for casual wine consumption. They eliminate the need for a corkscrew, which can be handy in situations like picnics, outdoor gatherings, or when you simply want a glass of wine without the fuss of opening a bottle.

3. Aging potential: Contrary to popular belief, screw tops can also be used for wines meant to age. In fact, some high-quality wines intended for long-term cellaring are now being sealed with screw tops. These closures provide a tight seal, preventing oxidation and allowing the wine to develop gracefully over time.

It's important to remember that wine is a complex and diverse , and the closure method is just one aspect of its packaging. The quality of the grapes, the winemaking techniques, and the overall craftsmanship of the producer play a much more significant role in determining the quality of the wine.

While there may still be a lingering perception that screw tops are associated with cheaper wines, this is gradually changing as more and more reputable wineries embrace this closure method. It's worth exploring and trying wines sealed with screw tops without preconceived notions. After all, the true measure of a wine's quality lies in its taste, not the closure on the bottle.

In my personal experience, I have had the pleasure of tasting exceptional wines sealed with screw tops. These wines have showcased the full potential of the grape varietals and the skill of the winemakers. It's important to approach wine with an open mind and be willing to challenge preconceptions. Only then can we truly appreciate the diversity and excellence that the wine world has to offer.