Natural Cork, Synthetic or screw tops- What’s the difference?
Natural cork has been used to seal wine in bottles for over 250 years. Cork is a natural product from bark tissue from Quercus suber (the Cork Oak), mainly produced commercially by Portugal, one of the Old World wine producers.
Recently there has been concerns about the increase use of synthetic materials and screw tops along with campaigns against its usage, driven mainly by those directly involved with the cork industry.
The fact is that when it comes to wine production, some producers such as New Zealand and Australia rarely use corks.
When it comes to fulfill its purpose, the synthetic or screw tops are more consistent, however because this is relatively a new solution there are no evidence to ascertain what effect these solutions might have on old or aging wines.
For that reason many wine producers, specially in the Old World, still prefer the traditional method and carry on using the cork.
As far as everyday consumption and short term storage goes, there is no evident reason to choose one over the other. It is about personal preferences and experiences. There is something special about popping open a corked bottle of wine that the screw top will not give… The nostalgic sound of the cork popping might drive many wine lovers to still choose wines with natural cork.
Our advice: If you are getting a Vintage wine that you want to keep for many years, stick to the proven method for now. If you are getting that bottle of wine for tonight's dinner, well don't judge a wine by its cork.