Screw caps have recently gained a lot of ground, but the cork is still king. Which is actually better for your wine or spirits packaging?
Screw caps still have the “cheap” stigma attached to them, and very often newer wineries and distilleries tend to shy away from them because they are looking to make a good first impression with their new product. However, established producers are much less reluctant to accept cork alternatives, confident enough in their products and established fan base to use artificial corks and even screw caps.
Todays screw cap can outperform some corks and save the beverage producer on packaging costs at the same time. You may be surprised to learn that some modern cork alternatives that are perceived as cheap can be more expensive and more reliable than the cheapest corks.
Some people may never accept that a screw cap wine is equal to or better than a corked bottle. In the same way, many people will not consume beer from a can, even though cans are better at protecting the beer from UV rays. Modern cans have been lined with plastic dating back to the mid 1930s, yet some consumers will errantly cite a lingering metallic flavor when drinking from a can.
In the end, it’s all about perception and the confidence of the beverage producer in their product. We’ve seen expensive high quality wine bottled with a screw cap and discount wines using corks.
Perhaps the argument is best summed up by the popular phrase, “never judge a book by it’s cover”.
There is a a great article on the peerless Wine Folly website that wades into the cork vs. screw cap debate. Obviously the focus of the article is wine, but we have had this same discussion many times with distilleries looking at closure options for their bottled spirits.