You’ve seen them lined up in the bottle shop – rows corks and rows of screw caps. Both options are commonly used among wine producers, but what exactly are the differences between them? Keep reading as we go through the pros and cons of both cork and screw caps.

Cork

Between the two types of wine closers, cork is the most traditional and used since ancient times in Greece and Italy.

Pros

  • It has a positive effect in the ageing process of the wine, thanks to its tiny pores that allow a very small amount of air to impact the drink’s flavour and aroma over time

  • It’s a natural, renewable resource, as it comes from cork oak trees, which can live for up to 200 years

  • It has history and tradition behind it, which can be of extreme value for winemakers
  • Who doesn’t love the ritual of a cork being removed from the bottle at the dinner table? 

Cons

    • It can be expensive, depending on the quality

    • Each cork is different, impacting the consistency across bottles of the same wine

  • Cork is fragile and as it dries out over time, crumbled cork might end up falling into the wine
  • Storage is crucial as the incorrect humidity or placement can cause the cork to shrink, allowing the wine to oxidise prematurely 
  • Screw Caps

    Screw caps are a more modern option, which was introduced in 1964 and is currently used by many Australian and New Zealand winemakers.

    Pros

    • It’s affordable when compared to a cork

    • It’s easier for the consumer to open, as there’s no need for any utensils - they can simply twist the cap and the wine will be ready to drink

    • All screw caps are identical and that consistency allows for the same amount of air to affect the wine in each bottle in the way same

    Cons

    • It’s not an environmentally sustainable option, because each cap is made from aluminium, as well as Polyvinylidene chloride

    • The screw’s impact on the wine ageing process isn’t as positive as cork

    • Many consumers associate screw caps with “cheap” wine, which although isn’t always true, can impact a producer’s sales

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