Betty's Wine Musings
Screw Cap vs. Cork
Screw Cap vs. Cork

Don’t you love the sound of a cork popping out of a wine bottle? For most of us, it’s romantic and exciting, and it signals a special event or occasion. Somehow, unscrewing a screw cap just doesn’t have that same special feeling. But is that a good enough reason to only “sport the cork”?

Consider the pros and cons of the cork vs. the twist or screw cap:



  • Allows some oxygen flow, which helps with the aging of the wine
  • The beautiful sound of the cork popping out
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Risk of spoilage or taint from TCA, a chemical compound that comes from the cork and causes the wine to have an unpleasant odor and taste. TCA is harmless but depressing, when you’re looking forward to drinking what you expect to be a great wine.

Synthetic Cork (made from plastic compounds)


  • No risk of spoilage or taint from TCA
  • The beautiful sound of the cork popping out


  • Difficult to remove from the bottle
  • Even more difficult to insert back into an open bottle
  • Environmentally unfriendly – not biodegradable

Screw Cap (“Stelvin cap”)


  • Convenient, particularly when traveling or picnicking
  • No risk of spoilage or taint from TCA
  • Bottle can be stored upright


  • Many people associate screw caps with “cheap” wine
  • No romantic cork popping sound
  • Environmentally unfriendly – will people remember to recycle them?
  • Unclear whether an age-worthy wine will age as well with a screw cap as with a cork

Betty’s Take

  • Screw cap for wines that are meant to be consumed young
  • Cork for wines that are age worthy
  • Cork whenever you need that romantic popping sound

Of course, in the end, what matters most is the taste of the wine.

If you share my bias against screw caps, please join me in taking steps to overcome that bias. One of the easiest steps you can take is to buy a few bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. More than likely, all of the wines will be great, and all of them will have screw caps. You’ll be well on your way to having an improved attitude in this area.

Here are two great blog articles on this topic:

International Screwcap Initiative History

Seeking Closure – A Bottle Top Overcomes Its Screwed Up Rep

I would love to know what side of the debate you’re on. Please share your thoughts here.

As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!

Cheers, Betty Kaufman
WineShop At Home

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