A thrilling new study is taking place at the University of California at Davis! They have decided to help to close the debate on whether screw cap closures are as effective as corks when it comes to aging wine.
The university is working with the PlumpJack Group, a wine and hospitality company, cofounded by billionaire philanthropist Gordon Getty and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, to assess the quality and aging potential of different closures. The goal is to provide information for the wine industry so winemakers can make better decisions on how to seal their bottles.
The two-year study will analyze wines under three different types of closures—screw caps, synthetic corks and natural corks. The test group, which consists of 200 bottles of Cade Sauvignon Blanc 2011, will be monitored every few months using a spectrometer to detect changes in color. The wines will also be chemically analyzed using oxygen sensors placed inside the bottles. The sensors allow the university to measure how a wine is aging without opening it. The wines that show differences will be opened at the end of the study and tasted to determine if the quality has been compromised.
What I would really like to see is a study on the studies of corks vs. screw caps! How many more studies does there need to be, and what was it that the last group didn’t do right that there needs to be another one? For me, the debate was closed a few years ago with the findings from this Australian study.
The screw cap vs. cork debate is boring…but with that said, I know for a fact a lot of people still have a problem with wines sealed with a “twisty top.” Maybe the only reason I find it so dull is that I’m surrounding myself with “wine news and views” 7 days a week, and the cork vs. screw cap debate is absolutely the most played-out topic.
The sad thing is that no matter what this two year study shows, it’s not going to change the overwhelming consumer opinion that screw caps look cheap.