Screw Tops: Cheap Looking, but Convenient

When I think of screw top wines, I still think “cheap”. I know it’s not true. I know there are some great wines that come in screw top bottles, but I still have a hard time getting my head around the idea. That is, unless I have just checked into a crappy hotel and brought a bottle or two but forgot my opener. I also really like the screw top bottles for camping, tailgating and other such activities where formality takes a back seat to convenience.

One of my favorite small, Central Coast producers (Please check out or visit them in Los Olivos, California) makes much of his wine with screw tops these days. I just had a bottle of his La Presa Vineyard Grenache in a screw top. I like the lower failure rate of the screw top, but I am still not a believer.

I have heard that smokers go through a similar mental masturbation as wine drinkers. When one opens a package of cigarettes, they must unwrap the plastic, tear away the top of the pack, withdraw the death stick itself and prepare it for lighting by tapping the back on a hard surface. All this occurs in anxious anticipation of lighting the cigarette and inhaling the noxious fumes to enjoy the brief seconds of pre-death satisfaction.

In much the same way, wine drinkers have to cut or peel off the foil cap, insert the business end of the cork screw and carefully withdraw the cork before they can taste the wine. This process, along with the pouring, viewing it, swirling and sniffing it, are all part of the fun for me. Likewise, these acts make up the proper methodology for experiencing the wine. It’s almost like foreplay where if you rush it, you are not likely to get as much out of it.

Before I wrap up, I want to say a couple words about those new plastic, mini-corks with the little glass top covered in shrink wrap which have been showing up in a lot of rose wines lately. One of my buddies brought a French rose with that funky little top to our crush last week. It was certainly convenient, but not at all sexy. I drank an IPA. After all, it takes a lot of beer to make good wine. Sorry, I couldn’t help it. It’s my fifth year and I’m still excited about making my own wine.