Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC's Wine Connoisseurs Say Screw-Top Bottle Preferable, but Resistance Still Reigns

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC's Wine Connoisseurs Say Screw-Top Bottle Preferable, but Resistance Still Reigns

Article excerpt

There's nothing worse than opening a bottle of wine - no matter what it cost - only to throw it out after two glasses. With this in mind, wineries in New Zealand, Australia and California have found a way to preserve those last few glasses for consumers who aren't apt to polish off their bottles of red and white libations in one setting.

Connoisseurs are seeing more and more of the screw-top wine varieties than ever before, as such tops no longer are limited to the Mad Dog 20/20 and Night Train varieties.

However, resistance still reigns.

Several of the $12 to $30 bottles already have made the switch and can be found in most wine shops across the metro, including The Cellar. But few of the high-end wines have followed suit - the $135- a-bottle Plumpjack, a California Cabernet, not withstanding. Plumpjack has bottled half of its reserve with a screw-cap while the other half remains corked.

This is their third year and they want to see how the public reacts to it, said Dale Blackburn, owner of The Cellar Wine & Spirits.

Wine experts say the screwed bottle certainly should be preferred. The top resists cork taint and leakage, both of which will ruin any bottle of wine and affects 3 to 4 percent of all wines. Additionally, an opened bottle with the screw-top closure will last up to eight days in a refrigerator, unlike the corked, which might last one or two days.

These problems have cost wineries much in the way of profit.

I send back two to three cases of damaged wine every week, Blackburn said. Up to five percent are going back to the wineries, and that's lost profit. Then there's the other side who don't know the (corked) wine is damaged, and you've lost that customer for life because they think you make bad wine.

Blackburn said he has seen a sales increase 5 to 10 percent since he started carrying the 40 varieties of screw-top wines in his store at 9275 N. May Ave.

Nationwide you've got a very small percentage who still likes the cork, he said, adding that the only thing missed is the romantic side - pulling out the corkscrew, opening the bottle and sniffing the cork. But whether it's corked or screwed, aficionados still can examine the legs with a swirl of the glass before that first sip. …

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