Wine drinkers prefer cork despite widespread acceptance of screwcaps

04 April, 2008

Q Screwcap wines now dominate my range, but the number of wines being supplied with this form of closure seems to have plateaued. How come so many suppliers seem happy with cork, despite the consumer's acceptance of screwcaps?

AScrewcaps are indeed widely accepted by consumers, but it may surprise you to hear that independent studies have shown that, across the world, wine drinkers tend to prefer cork.

Wine Intelligence research conducted in 13 countries last year found that cork was rated more highly than synthetic stoppers or screwcaps everywhere.

In the UK, the survey found that 78% of UK wine drinkers were convinced of the merits of screwcap, and indeed favour them for cheaper wines. But at the "serious" end of the market - where wine is priced at £8 or more - 51% say cork is best.

It is still a matter of debate whether or not wines age more effectively with cork or screwcap. Screwcap advocates argue there is sufficient oxygen in the air space of the neck to allow wine to mature, but as the cliché goes: only time will tell if they are right.

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