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Cooking Q&A: Screw-top Wine

Q.

Is all screw-top wine bad?

A.

Most people still romanticize the cork and believe screw caps (also referred to as Stelvin caps) are a sign of cheap wine, but the prejudice is more about aesthetics than quality. Not only are they okay, more and more prestigious winemakers are using screw caps because they provide an airtight seal, which prevents wine from oxidizing, and because of the occasional issue with wines that are “corked” -- a tainted flavor or smell in wine attributed to a chemical sometimes found in cork.

Screw caps aren’t without controversy. Some winemakers believe the lack of oxygen contributes to a sulfurous, rotten egg smell in wines. So who is right? It’s purely a matter of opinion, but the days of associating screw caps with plonk jug wine are dwindling. Nearly 90 percent of New Zealand wines are sealed under screw caps, and even a few French winemakers have adopted the new seals. Box wine? Still nasty.

-- Colleen Rush

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