If anything should convince you of my position on screw caps, consider the stated location on my Twitter profile: “wherever corks pop and caps snap.”
Yes, I give equal status to corks and screw caps because both are perfectly fine bottle enclosures. Just a generation ago, the thought of packaging wine like soda pop would have prompted connoisseurs to raise their corkscrews in a vampire cross.
These days enthusiasts know that quality wine is often packaged with twist-off tops, making the wine not only easier to open but also protecting it from cork taint, which is that basement-floor, mildewy smell that experts estimate affects at least 5 percent of all cork-enclosed bottles.
I know what you’re thinking: “But the inglorious snap of a screw cap ruins wine’s sophisticated aura, which is part of the reason why I’m drinking it in the first place.”
I say fear not, brave drinker. At times when first impressions count, such as at an important business meeting or a hot date, simply drape a towel over the neck of the bottle and pull the cap away inside the towel. Better yet, open the screw-off bottle in another room, pour the wine into a glass decanter and your guests will never know that they are drinking wine opened with a humble crack.
Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.