In this special section of wineanorak.com, I'm focusing on
one of the key debates in the wine tradethe best way of sealing wine
It's a subject that's created a huge amount of controversy, and
while there are vocal advocates of both screwcaps and natural corks,
there are few information sources that present a balanced picture and
which rely on scientific data, rather than anecdotal evidence or just
It's also a debate with considerable financial
implications for manufacturers of corks and alternative closures, and
therefore it's necessary to clarify my stance here: I'm an independent
commentator, not a stooge for any cork or closure
My interest lies in bringing the best evidence and
analysis on this subject together in one place for the benefit of my
Corks, plastic and
screwcaps: what are the issues
An introduction to the closure debate. If you want an overview of the
issues, this is a good place to start
An illustrated guide to the cork production process, including pictures
and a video
An edited transcript of the proceedings at the 2006 Closures Debate
at the London wine trade fair
feature: will cork become the sheep-gut condom of our times?
Goode goes beyond the tabloid headlines to discuss the Wine
International comparative tasting of cork-sealed and screwcapped wines.
New Zealand Screwcap Initiative
In New Zealand, the shift to screwcaps has taken place with
startling speed: from a standing start in 2000, now 70% of this
country's wines are sealed this way. Jamie Goode investigates the
official initiative designed to help producers make this transition
successfully, and to provide information on this type of closure.
closures for fine wines
corks or screwtops be used to seal wines intended for long-term ageing?
Not yet, argues Jamie Goode. We need to wait for the data.
My book on closures, published in 2006. This is the first book to
provide a comprehensive, data-focused summary of the key issues in the
closures debate. Available from www.flavourpress.com
Back to square
one: the WSA musty taint survey
With a fierce debate ranging in the wine trade over the
validity of the Wine and Spirit Association’s research into cork
taint, Jamie Goode raises doubts over the methodology employed and asks
is it time to rip up the report and start again?
of Truth: Sabaté's Altec trialassessing
the performance of a controversial closure and shedding new light on
the human perception of TCA
By the end
of the 1990s, Sabaté’s Altec closure (a 'technical' cork that is
part cork particle, part synthetic) was widely criticised for
unacceptable levels of taint. After modifications, the French
manufacturer invited experts from the trade and press to test the
performance of its old and new closures. Jamie Goode analyses the
research model’s openness, methodology and its surprising results.
Sabaté claims to have come up with a technique for solving cork
taint, an ailment that attacks 5% of naturally sealed wines. But will
this process, successful in tests, prove viable in mass production?
Jamie Goode reports.
Yet more on
corks: towards a balanced perspective
While everyone is probably fed up with the subject of cork
taint by now, it's the issue that won't go away. This article is an
attempt to forge a balanced position on the basis of good
dataand not just anecdotal accounts, strongly held beliefs and
murky conflicting interests.
cork taint: are screwcaps and plastic corks the answer?
Jamie Goode analyses the results
from an significant independent study on the effectiveness of wine
bottle closures. This scientific paper, published on July 12 2001, has
thrown up some surprising results, and the ongoing trial it describes
promises to answer the key question of whether alternatives to cork are
suitable for long-term ageing of wine.