More and more wine is bottled with synthetic cork or twist off caps. Many people associate these modern enclosures with cheap wine and that makes wineries reluctant to switch. It’s a shame, really, because we’ve learned so much since natural cork was state of the art. We’ve learned that 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), a substance that occurs in natural cork, causes a wine fault called “cork taint.” We’ve learned to make synthetic cork, which is free of such taint but can leave wine vulnerable to oxidation after several years. Finally, we’ve learned to make twist off caps that will allow a tiny, consistent amount of oxygen into the wine – enough for it to age properly, but not enough to oxidize it. After learning all that, twist off caps don’t look cheap to me; they look like really good modern closures that keep our wine in top condition.
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