At Adelaide Cellar Door Festival a week back, one winery proudly proclaimed they are moving back to corks. We immediately stopped tasting and moved on. I am baffled the industry is still this crazy and doesn't understand why we hate them, now that we've tried the alternative.
Listen up you wineries persisting with the gambler's seal, and consider what's best for the consumer for a change.
1. Cork sealed bottled are harder to store
They require being laid down, which is fine for your full cases in the winery but it's rather annoying unstable once you take a bottle or two out. They also require a humid environment for good long term seal. Of course every wine enthusiast has their own climate controlled cellar, or incredibly expensive wine fridge, right?
2. Cork sealed wines need a corkscrew
I was at a BYO wedding in the middle of a wine district, and it was both sad and amusing seeing a number of wine industry people wander around trying to borrow a corkscrew.
3. Cork sealed wines can't be resealed easily
This makes taking home half bottles from restaurants/picnics harder, and even at the picnics/parties there no risk of spilling the wine with screwcaps, ignoring the drunkard's pouring skills.
4. Old corks often crumble
I really hate dealing with a crumbling cork, it's messy and likely to end up with me picking bits of cork out of my glass, or teeth.
5. TCA aka cork taint
Oh, good wineries will just replace that corked wine, so no problem right? Wrong. I have carefully cellared your wine for 10+ years, I open it on a special occasion and am I rewarded for that patience? No, I am actually penalized instead.
5.1 So, if I am going to open a cork sealed wine, particularly an old one, I need to have two wines on hand, and if wise one of them will be a screwcap, because most of us have had 2 corked wines in a row.
5.2 Then I have to go through the hassle of contacting the winery and asking for a replacement, being quizzed about how I stored the wine as though it's my fault. My time is wasted yet again, it wasn't enough that you wasted my time at the opening of the wine, now I have to chase you and justify myself to you because of your bad decision.
5.3 Wineries generally only replace with current vintage. Understandable that they won't be keeping 10% of production back for later replacements, but I've just wasted 10+ years of cellaring and I typically won't be compensated for it. This is an unwanted gamble too, what if current vintage release is poor one?
I will add one more thing, which should be the sole reason you stop using cork. Most people who try your wine will not give you a second chance to impress them.Why would you risk them trying a sub-par bottle? The average wine drinker is more likely to simply assume the wine is made badly, rather than blame the cork, and then ignore your wines from that point.
I could go on, easily, but the point all wineries should have picked up by now is
that it's not about you, or your wine, it's about me, the consumer and
the problems you're passing on to me. I'm the one not buying your wine, there's already more great wine than I can possibly drink in a lifetime anyway, so thanks for helping reduce my buying list.
At least one American wine magazine publisher, Harvey Steiman of Wine Spectator, is trying to drag the recalcitrants into the modern world.