EP 654 Discussing Cork vs. Screwcaps during a Grab Bag Wine Tasting

Gary Vaynerchuk and Liza “The Wine Chick” Zimmerman taste 3 totally different wines and debate the relative merits of cork and screwcap enclosures.

Wines tasted in this episode:

2007 Mythic River Sauv BlancGreek White Wine
2006 Bleasdale Langhorne Crossing Shiraz/ CabernetAustralian Red Meritage
2007 Descendientes De Jose Palacios Bierzo PetalosBierzo

Links mentioned in today’s episode.

Latest Comment:

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Luca Bercelli

90/100

line of the day – ‘you should spend a year doing blind tastings to get rid of your preconceptions, then write a book about it. That’s a big time idea. I want 10%’

My initial thought was – what a terrible guest, but on reflection she was a great foil for GV to confront a lot of things he doesn’t like in the wine industry (whilst pretending to like her). It’s the first time that he’s almost had a full-blown argument with a guest on the show and therefore very watchable. Don’t mess with Gary when talking about screwcaps, corked wines or wine areas that you do or don’t like. I haven’t read the rest of the comments but I’m about to, and I’ll be shocked if she gets off lightly. Great stuff.

Tags: Bierzo, cabernet, Greek, red, review, shiraz, Video, white, wine, wines

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  • http://twitter.com/DanMeissner DanM

    Nice show. Always like when you have guests (nothing about you Gary, just a nice change of pace), especially knowledgeable ones (that eliminates those College Humor guys).

    No one can compete with Sasha as a guest though :)

  • bob c

    Wow, I had to replay that cork issue a few times to understand it…..interesting discussion….

  • bob c

    Wow, I had to replay that cork issue a few times to understand it…..interesting discussion….

  • peter

    Sorry …… I had a bottle with a bad screw top. I noticed it two states later driving) when, looking for something, I felt a wet on the bottle while moving it. The cap was still connected to the neck piece but upon further checking after feeling a wetness, I found that the cap and neck piece would twist around the bottle with minor effort, apparently enough that fluid can leak out. It kinda makes sense. I’m sure the machines clamping these twist caps on have to slowly wear or expand and need adjustment on occasion, due to pressure, heat, wear, etc. anyway, I don’t feel that screwcaps are foolproof.
    Peter

  • peter

    Sorry …… I had a bottle with a bad screw top. I noticed it two states later driving) when, looking for something, I felt a wet on the bottle while moving it. The cap was still connected to the neck piece but upon further checking after feeling a wetness, I found that the cap and neck piece would twist around the bottle with minor effort, apparently enough that fluid can leak out. It kinda makes sense. I’m sure the machines clamping these twist caps on have to slowly wear or expand and need adjustment on occasion, due to pressure, heat, wear, etc. anyway, I don’t feel that screwcaps are foolproof.
    Peter

  • innA

    I would have thought the amount of corked wine would be about 1 in 500.

    Worst QOTD of the day ever!

  • innA

    I would have thought the amount of corked wine would be about 1 in 500.

    Worst QOTD of the day ever!

  • http://www.boozemonkey.com/ Matt

    I was surprised by the 2% corked figure too: it’s been a long time since I had a corked wine. Having said that, sparkling wines are a different thing altogether : my wife drinks a lot of sparkling wine and I’m finding that around one in every 15~20 bottles is so poorly sealed under cork that there is no pop when you open it and the wine is virtually flat when you pour it. The remaining CO2 is enough to keep the wine fresh, but not enough to give it bubbles. I have never found that with good champagne (so maybe they’re using higher quality cork at the top end of the market) but certainly at the cheaper end ($10~20) the figures are way too high — I don’t like having to take wine back to the shop and ask for a replacement and I find I’m doing that a couple of times a month.

  • http://www.boozemonkey.com Matt

    I was surprised by the 2% corked figure too: it’s been a long time since I had a corked wine. Having said that, sparkling wines are a different thing altogether : my wife drinks a lot of sparkling wine and I’m finding that around one in every 15~20 bottles is so poorly sealed under cork that there is no pop when you open it and the wine is virtually flat when you pour it. The remaining CO2 is enough to keep the wine fresh, but not enough to give it bubbles. I have never found that with good champagne (so maybe they’re using higher quality cork at the top end of the market) but certainly at the cheaper end ($10~20) the figures are way too high — I don’t like having to take wine back to the shop and ask for a replacement and I find I’m doing that a couple of times a month.

  • cyrus

    Great episode gary! I love it when you have knowledgeable guests and engage in some serious debate. Finally a guest who knew the that the QOTD was coming. I loved her shout out to Angelo’s in Sonoma, great jerky.

    QOTD: don’t know and won’t resort to google.

  • cyrus

    Great episode gary! I love it when you have knowledgeable guests and engage in some serious debate. Finally a guest who knew the that the QOTD was coming. I loved her shout out to Angelo’s in Sonoma, great jerky.

    QOTD: don’t know and won’t resort to google.

  • yowens

    2% seems high but maybe I’m just drinking a alot of wines that aren’t meant to age and therefore rarely are corked. Or maybe I’m just not good at detecting it. QOTD: Without wikipedia I’m clueless.

  • yowens

    2% seems high but maybe I’m just drinking a alot of wines that aren’t meant to age and therefore rarely are corked. Or maybe I’m just not good at detecting it. QOTD: Without wikipedia I’m clueless.

  • Sonia

    Not my favorite guest ever… she didn’t seem to be intersted in expanding palettes, kinda like an anti-Gary.

  • Sonia

    Not my favorite guest ever… she didn’t seem to be intersted in expanding palettes, kinda like an anti-Gary.

  • valdezvine

    Great show Gary. Judi and yowens had good points about cork tree reduction (I don’t have figures) and people keeping wine too long. I’d probably guess the ratio to be about 1 in 300. But I don’t see it as a cork vs. screwcap issue. How about synthetic corks or cheaters? In my mind screwcaps are a far better option than synthetics for wines I’m going to drink within a couple of years. Flavor reduction in just a few months? I’m no expert, but I find that difficult to believe. If a wine with a cork will have a disticnt difference in flavor over that short of a time, then it may not last long anyway. Again, great stuff!

  • valdezvine

    Great show Gary. Judi and yowens had good points about cork tree reduction (I don’t have figures) and people keeping wine too long. I’d probably guess the ratio to be about 1 in 300. But I don’t see it as a cork vs. screwcap issue. How about synthetic corks or cheaters? In my mind screwcaps are a far better option than synthetics for wines I’m going to drink within a couple of years. Flavor reduction in just a few months? I’m no expert, but I find that difficult to believe. If a wine with a cork will have a disticnt difference in flavor over that short of a time, then it may not last long anyway. Again, great stuff!

  • thefaamakesmedrink

    Gary,

    I listen to you. Now, where were we…?

    Oh yes. I think that Liza ‘The Human Bobblehead’ Zimmerman would be a much better moniker for your guest. I mean, does this woman possess any neck muscles?

    One more thing. Why is/was she wearing Bronko Nagurski’s wedding ring around her neck?

    Regards,

    Mrs. Bronko Nagurski

  • thefaamakesmedrink

    Gary,

    I listen to you. Now, where were we…?

    Oh yes. I think that Liza ‘The Human Bobblehead’ Zimmerman would be a much better moniker for your guest. I mean, does this woman possess any neck muscles?

    One more thing. Why is/was she wearing Bronko Nagurski’s wedding ring around her neck?

    Regards,

    Mrs. Bronko Nagurski

  • Iúri Almeida

    Actually the answer of the QOTD is Marula. This fruit is used with some cream in the licquor Amarula (brand) and others. It is not very good in my opinion…

    I didn’t like this “wine chick” she is all about herself! Gary said it right: I think most of the statments that the wine is corked or bretty are attempts of self asurance…

    P.S.: Sorry about the bad english, I’m not a native speaker.

  • Iúri Almeida

    Actually the answer of the QOTD is Marula. This fruit is used with some cream in the licquor Amarula (brand) and others. It is not very good in my opinion…

    I didn’t like this “wine chick” she is all about herself! Gary said it right: I think most of the statments that the wine is corked or bretty are attempts of self asurance…

    P.S.: Sorry about the bad english, I’m not a native speaker.

  • Guy Thornton

    In the 90s I had a small winefarm in Wellington, South Africa. I grew grapes for my local co-op and was therefore entitled to an allowance of KWV wines at cheap price.Over the years I bought several hundred cases of small bottles (dumpies), around 250 ml, with screw caps. They were cab, merlot & shiraz. Over the years I drank several of these a day. And about one in ten/fifteen was oxydised which was about what I’d expect for a five year old (as these were) cork-stoppered bottle. So, my empirical opinion is that while screw tops are easier to open, they don’t resolve all problems. In my life I’ve been lucky in that “corked” wines have only rarely come my way. Whereas oxydised are everywhere once the wine gets a few years old.

  • Guy Thornton

    In the 90s I had a small winefarm in Wellington, South Africa. I grew grapes for my local co-op and was therefore entitled to an allowance of KWV wines at cheap price.Over the years I bought several hundred cases of small bottles (dumpies), around 250 ml, with screw caps. They were cab, merlot & shiraz. Over the years I drank several of these a day. And about one in ten/fifteen was oxydised which was about what I’d expect for a five year old (as these were) cork-stoppered bottle. So, my empirical opinion is that while screw tops are easier to open, they don’t resolve all problems. In my life I’ve been lucky in that “corked” wines have only rarely come my way. Whereas oxydised are everywhere once the wine gets a few years old.

  • Andrew W.

    Sounds like she’s drinking the cork Kool-Aid. Wasn’t a fan.
    While there is some romance to the cork, it isn’t necessary for all wines. A yellow tail that is going to be drank within its first 3 years in the bottle, has no reason to have a cork besides the novelty and romance of the cork.

  • Andrew W.

    Sounds like she’s drinking the cork Kool-Aid. Wasn’t a fan.
    While there is some romance to the cork, it isn’t necessary for all wines. A yellow tail that is going to be drank within its first 3 years in the bottle, has no reason to have a cork besides the novelty and romance of the cork.

  • Dan-o

    Great guest. Very knowledgeable.
    QOTD – I am not all that interested and, NO, I will not Google it because a) I am not a jerk off, and b) I have better things to do.

  • Dan-o

    Great guest. Very knowledgeable.
    QOTD – I am not all that interested and, NO, I will not Google it because a) I am not a jerk off, and b) I have better things to do.

  • http://cellarmuse.blogspot.com/ Cellar_Muse

    A little late, but the answer of the QOTD is Marula. This fruit is used with some cream in the licquor Amarula. A neighbor of mine brought back a bottle from a business trip to Africa. We love having bottles of liquor from different areas of the globe in the bar.

    Love the episode. Keep Crushin it!

  • http://cellarmuse.blogspot.com/ Cellar_Muse

    A little late, but the answer of the QOTD is Marula. This fruit is used with some cream in the licquor Amarula. A neighbor of mine brought back a bottle from a business trip to Africa. We love having bottles of liquor from different areas of the globe in the bar.

    Love the episode. Keep Crushin it!

  • JayZee

    I see that there is a rather divergent opinion on the guest for this show. I had no real problems with the Wine Chick. She spoke her mind. Your opinion may vary. Whatever. I found the discussion on cork vs. screw-tops interesting, but I think Gary was way off on his “1 in 2500″ estimate of corked wine. I don’t think that it is the cork opposition statement of 5-10% or more. I don’t think it is 2%. According to a review of my tasting notes over the years, I have found 5 corked bottles in about 1700 so that is about .2% from my experience in recent years. And, yes, I do drink a lot of 10 year old or more wine.

    QOTD: Stupid question – it was trivia rather than opinion. The latter is far more interesting, although at least she was ready with her question and not surprised by the concept.

  • JayZee

    I see that there is a rather divergent opinion on the guest for this show. I had no real problems with the Wine Chick. She spoke her mind. Your opinion may vary. Whatever. I found the discussion on cork vs. screw-tops interesting, but I think Gary was way off on his “1 in 2500″ estimate of corked wine. I don’t think that it is the cork opposition statement of 5-10% or more. I don’t think it is 2%. According to a review of my tasting notes over the years, I have found 5 corked bottles in about 1700 so that is about .2% from my experience in recent years. And, yes, I do drink a lot of 10 year old or more wine.

    QOTD: Stupid question – it was trivia rather than opinion. The latter is far more interesting, although at least she was ready with her question and not surprised by the concept.

  • http://aragonwinemarket.com/ Ben

    I enjoy the show, and Gary’s always very entertaining. I love the Petalos, and agree it has a lot of interesting things going on. It’s a wine that improves with air, and it’s a masculine wine, very dark and earthy and brooding, but complex and full of vigor and life. It’s terrific–perhaps ideal–with roasted pork. It’s really a wine that takes time to evolve after you open it–another reason I’m a fan of traditional corks. I think this would be a different wine in a screwcap. And that’s from someone who experiences, on average, a corked bottle in every “several dozen” that I open. I would say, over time, over thousands of bottles, I get wine affected by TCA at a rate of at least 3-5 bottles in very hundred. I might go 100 bottles without seeing–though rarely–but then might get 3 out of the next 20. So it’s there, Gary, far more often than you are appreciating. Put aside “my dog’s bigger than yours” mentality, I like corks, like you, for wines I want to evolve, but you are missing some corked bottles if you think it’s only 1 in 2,500 or fewer. You’re way, way, way, off on that my friend. But I like your show.

    BEN

  • http://aragonwinemarket.com Ben

    I enjoy the show, and Gary’s always very entertaining. I love the Petalos, and agree it has a lot of interesting things going on. It’s a wine that improves with air, and it’s a masculine wine, very dark and earthy and brooding, but complex and full of vigor and life. It’s terrific–perhaps ideal–with roasted pork. It’s really a wine that takes time to evolve after you open it–another reason I’m a fan of traditional corks. I think this would be a different wine in a screwcap. And that’s from someone who experiences, on average, a corked bottle in every “several dozen” that I open. I would say, over time, over thousands of bottles, I get wine affected by TCA at a rate of at least 3-5 bottles in very hundred. I might go 100 bottles without seeing–though rarely–but then might get 3 out of the next 20. So it’s there, Gary, far more often than you are appreciating. Put aside “my dog’s bigger than yours” mentality, I like corks, like you, for wines I want to evolve, but you are missing some corked bottles if you think it’s only 1 in 2,500 or fewer. You’re way, way, way, off on that my friend. But I like your show.

    BEN

  • eharms

    GV, I really find it hard to believe that screwtop wines flavors are going into reduction within the first year or even two of being bottled. Wines at around $30 are going under screwcap these days – do you really think the winemakers bottling this stuff are not keeping track of their wine one to two years out? If they were to believe that srewcaps were determental why would they continue to use them? Winemakers view screwtop as a way to consistantly deliver the best product without cork taint. They use this closure on reds that are not inteded to age and for whites. There definatly is a place for cork but when wines are consumed so fast why not. The cost savings is minimal vs cork.

  • eharms

    GV, I really find it hard to believe that screwtop wines flavors are going into reduction within the first year or even two of being bottled. Wines at around $30 are going under screwcap these days – do you really think the winemakers bottling this stuff are not keeping track of their wine one to two years out? If they were to believe that srewcaps were determental why would they continue to use them? Winemakers view screwtop as a way to consistantly deliver the best product without cork taint. They use this closure on reds that are not inteded to age and for whites. There definatly is a place for cork but when wines are consumed so fast why not. The cost savings is minimal vs cork.

  • richardvinifera

    Obviously I don't know what is happening in the current 2010 episodes as i'm still working through, but it might be best to say a guest should ask a preference or general opinion of the Vayner Nation for the QOTD.

    I think the jury is still out on corked %ages and screwcaps, as corks are getting cleaner, and screwcaps better. I think “corked” bottles are often misdiagnosed, I had someone telling me a young very TANNIC wine was corked! I can believe 0.5% to 4%.

  • ironmics

    Just a quick note on your cork'd ratio, at work, we had to open and smell 32 pallets of wine. I can tell you that your guest is probably right. We usually got about 7-8 bottles that we dumped because they were corked, because we really didn't want to mix any of it into the tank. Probably half of them were fine to drink, but 3-4 per pallet were without a doubt, over the top, corked. Which still translates to .5%. These corks came from Scott I believe, so they are from a pretty reputable supplier. There was also a pretty good percentage of oxidized bottles too, about .25% probably, which would be another cork problem.

  • John__J

    qotd: I’m not googling that. I’m sure someone already posted the answer on here anyway

  • Anonymous

    Not tried these, Greek wines hit or miss,mostly miss. She looks like Bette Midler.. QOTD-who gives a sh*t http://www.winelx.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=630276710 Luca Bercelli

    90/100

    line of the day – ‘you should spend a year doing blind tastings to get rid of your preconceptions, then write a book about it. That’s a big time idea. I want 10%’

    My initial thought was – what a terrible guest, but on reflection she was a great foil for GV to confront a lot of things he doesn’t like in the wine industry (whilst pretending to like her). It’s the first time that he’s almost had a full-blown argument with a guest on the show and therefore very watchable. Don’t mess with Gary when talking about screwcaps, corked wines or wine areas that you do or don’t like. I haven’t read the rest of the comments but I’m about to, and I’ll be shocked if she gets off lightly. Great stuff.

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