PDA

View Full Version : Wine Question



Leah J. Utas
12-22-2008, 01:14 AM
Are Chilean wines being sealed without corks now? I opened a bottle of Gato Negro and found only a white plastic round covering under the heavy foil wrap. It covered the mouth of the bottle. I expected a cork. It's been a year or so since my last bottle of Chilean red and I wondered if this was new or this was a problem.
I'd long since tossed the receipt so I told the store but didn't return it. Out of sheer curious optimism I bought a second bottle and found the same thing.
I checked around on line but got lost and discouraged so I came here.
Thanks.

alleycat
12-22-2008, 01:25 AM
I don't know anything about Chilean wines specifically, but many producers of wine of the cheaper, quickly consumed, wines want to get away from real cork. Synthetic corks are one of the newer things since almost all consumers look down their nose at screw tops.

MaryMumsy
12-22-2008, 02:06 AM
Synthetic corks are one of the newer things since almost all consumer look down their nose at screw tops.

I think I read they are using synthetic corks because they are cheaper and hold up better. Last year at Thanksgiving I handed my Uncle a modestly priced bottle of Australian red I wanted him to loosen the screwtop on. He was giving me grief about the 'cheap wine'. I went in the kitchen and got the more expensive bottle of French Burgundy his wife had brought and showed him the screwtop. He was astonished.

MM

Leah J. Utas
12-22-2008, 02:14 AM
A screw top would have been okay. So would a fake cork. But all this had was a flat disk on top of the bottle. It was like a carboard quarter guarding it.
I'm not sure what to make of it. If this is the new covering, then that's okay, but if there really is something missing I want to know.

vixey
12-22-2008, 02:17 AM
I've never seen the flat disk on top. I'll keep my eyes open next time I buy wines.

Screw tops are definitely becoming more popular, but there's something about the waiter unscrewing the bottle at the table that takes all the fun out of ordering wine. :)

alleycat
12-22-2008, 02:30 AM
Screw tops are definitely becoming more popular, but there's something about the waiter unscrewing the bottle at the table that takes all the fun out of ordering wine.
I saw something on the TV news or somewhere where the waiters at a fancy-smancy restaurant were taking the screw tops off and then inserting a cork using a little wooden mallet. That way they could make the traditional wine opening ceremony at the table (and expect a bigger tip, of course). The people were none the wiser.

Clever. I mean, who wants to smell a screw top?

vixey
12-22-2008, 02:59 AM
I saw something on the TV news or somewhere where the waiters at a fancy-smancy restaurant were taking the screw tops off and then inserting a cork using a little wooden mallet. That way they could make the traditional wine opening ceremony at the table (and expect a bigger tip, of course). The people were none the wiser.

Clever. I mean, who wants to smell a screw top?

Heh-heh...but when the waiter left the bottle on the table, wouldn't the unsuspecting diners see the screw top threads on the bottle? :D

Leah J. Utas
12-22-2008, 07:03 AM
Thanks everyone. The mystery has been solved. The nice lady from the liquor store called a few minutes ago to say this is how they're packaged now. Cardboard or styrofoam or what-have-you disk and no cork.
We lifted a glass in celebration.

Shadow_Ferret
12-22-2008, 07:06 AM
I saw something on the TV news or somewhere where the waiters at a fancy-smancy restaurant were taking the screw tops off and then inserting a cork using a little wooden mallet. That way they could make the traditional wine opening ceremony at the table (and expect a bigger tip, of course). The people were none the wiser.

Clever. I mean, who wants to smell a screw top?
That's fascinating. It's fascinating because opening a bottle of wine for me doesn't usually generate a larger tip, just the normal one since I expect that as part of the service.

Snowstorm
12-22-2008, 08:22 AM
I've heard some time ago that cork is running out world-wide and so wine makers have to have a different mechanism to seal wine such as plastic corks or screw tops. I don't remember where or when I heard that.

alleycat
12-22-2008, 08:25 AM
I've heard some time ago that cork is running out world-wide and so wine makers have to have a different mechanism to seal wine such as plastic corks or screw tops. I don't remember where or when I heard that.
The people in Spain say that's just an excuse the wine producers use to switch to synthetic cork.

I have no idea myself.

blacbird
12-22-2008, 11:19 AM
Real cork is only necessary when the wine involved is to be aged for a significant period of time. The cork is slightly permeable, and allows the wine to interact with the chemistry of the external universe slowly, and develop mature characteristics that are greatly valued. But many wines are not designed to be kept for long periods of time; frankly, a cork enclosure is superfluous for wines intended to be consumed young, and many such wines are perfectly fine beverages in that context. Most white wines (true sauternes and some chardonnays may be exceptions) are not intended to be aged, and in fact are not improved by it. Certain reds (e.g., Merlots, Pinot Noirs), likewise. For such wines, if a non-cork enclosure helps keep the price down, it's probably a good thing.

caw

Shadow_Ferret
12-22-2008, 06:11 PM
Oh, cork it, blacbird. :D

cray
12-22-2008, 06:43 PM
I've heard some time ago that cork is running out world-wide and so wine makers have to have a different mechanism to seal wine such as plastic corks or screw tops. I don't remember where or when I heard that.


huh. never heard that before. i believe it though.
also, screw tops are way way more reliable -- a good percentage of corks fail, the wine goes bad and people lose money.