Wednesday, 9 April 2008

S = Screwed

Is there anything quite like the romance of that soft pop of a cork from a wine bottle? The sense of anticipation, then the whiff of pleasures to come, and sometimes the formality of the wine waiter placing the cork on the table for your inspection?

But about 5-10% of all wines are corked. Spoiled by that romantic stopper, with its ancient history. And let’s face it – how many of us actually send back 1/10th of the bottles we order in a restaurant? Or pour down the sink 1/10th of the bottles we drink at home? Not many of us. No we tend just to say “I won’t buy that wine again.” So not only is there the danger of paying for a wine that is corked, but ... oh the shame ... of serving or drinking it, not recognising that it is corked, or worse, of missing out on a really special wine and not knowing it!

And so the wise wine producers of New Zealand began to introduce screw-top wine. Traditionally used for cheap wine, or by airlines for those tiny individual serve bottles, screwtops now protect my favourite New Zealand pinot noirs, sauvignon blancs and chardonnays. And I for one am not bothered about saying goodbye to tradition and romance, if it means my wine is better preserved, and most importantly, will taste better. Especially given the price I pay lately!

Besides, it’s an awful lot easier to screw off the top of a bottle of sauvignon blanc and pour a glass when I’m busy than to stop, find the corkscrew, peel off the cap, and uncork the wine … dangerously easy some might say.

Not me, though.

Cheers!!!

13 comments:

Helen said...

How do you feel about wine in tetra packs (if that's the correct term)? And the last time I went to buy wine, there was some in plastic bottles.

Bridgett said...

Here I've seen quite a bit of wine with plastic corks.

My favorite wine, a cabernet from California, still has real cork. I have yet to have a bottle that isn't consistently fine (but if I had one that was corked, it wouldn't make me stop drinking it--I know what it should be)....

Deloney said...

I like the look of the tetra packs but I haven't tried any of the wine yet. I don't mind the screw-tops. I've never been very good with "waiter's corkscrews" -- I rely on those other ones with the wings you press down.

Mali said...

Helen: I've never seen wine in tetra paks so you got me googling and I found this article - and this one commenting on its eco-friendly claims. I would need quite a mind shift to accept that ... give me some time.

But I definitely draw the line at plastic bottles - takes me back to my student days with the so-called cask wine (cardboard box with plastic bladder filled with wine).

After all, as they say, life is too short to drink bad wine!

And B, of course I don't know how much you drink (probably nothing at the moment ), but I would pretty much guarantee you've had a corked wine at some stage. Almost certainly served or ordered by someone else of course ;-) I've even come across corked wine at wine tastings - supporting that 1 in 10 statistic.

Deloney - I'm with you on the waiter's corkscrews. On the other end of complexity, I was given a Rabbit corkscrew once - you needed an engineering degree to operate it, and it looks like an adult toy without the batteries.

Bridgett said...

Oh, I'm sure I have--I opened one bottle last summer that actually had mold on the underside of the cork.

I just haven't had corked wine from the batch I pick up (that I've noticed). I drink not much. It probably averages to once a month or so. Sometimes less (it used to be a lot, A LOT, more...and a lot harder than wine).

Helen said...

What's the name of the wine you like so much from California Bridgett?

Bridgett said...

I'm always timid about wine. I can say things like "I drink scotch and water on the rocks" without worrying what people think, but wine, I always feel so lowbrow (and not in an underdog fun way). It's called Bon Terra, and I'm not a fan of their white, but their cabernet is the only red wine I've had thus far that doesn't make me flush like a drunk Irishman. It's organic...but I drank it before I cared about those things.

Mali said...

mmmm I looked it up and it sounds nice ... but to taste it I'd have to come visit

Bridgett said...

There's a spare bed in the attic...

Mrs Slocombe said...

We have just knocked off most of a bottle of Margaret River Cabernet Merlot, with a creamy sphagetti with some goat's fromage frais through it....mmmmmm: screw top too...in fact we are mildly annoyed when we get a cork these days....

Indigo Bunting said...

I have been having this conversation a lot lately. I do love the ritual of the cork, but I am beginning to let go. My biggest problem with the screwtop is that sometimes it goes back on the bottle, then I reach for the bottle, try to pour, and...nothing happens. Then I feel very silly. But visually, I thought it was open.

I actually love the Rabbit (the corkscrew...I'll keeping you guessing on other incarnations). But it's made me lazy with other corkscrews, trying to remember how to use them...

Mrs Slocombe said...

of course we've all overlooked the main fact: screw tops are a doddle to undo when you're already pissed!

Mali said...

Mrs S - ahhh yes ... just a twist of the wrist, et voila! Salut!