We were standing in a lineup at the cash register waiting to buy our favourite wine for happy hour and dinner. (We are so civilized now that we can buy BC Wine in many Okanagan Valley grocery stores.) We had two bottles, one was corked and the other was a screw top. Behind us was a couple I’m guessing in their late 50’s or early 60’s. She says to him, “how come some wines have screw tops and others don’t?” He says to her, “the screw top is the cheap stuff!”

There’s the controversy

Corks have been the choice of wine makers forever, but all that is changing. At one time the man was right. Back in the day, a screw top and cheap wine were synonymous, the kind of giggle juice often bottled in a big jug. But no more, screw tops have gone up-scale. Screw caps are being used by more and more vineyards and at every price point. They’re cheaper than cork by far, thus bottling costs are lower.

The trend actually started in Australia and New Zealand several years ago and today, the vast majority of wines produced in those two countries are bottled with screw caps. In North America, many winemakers now prefer screw caps for whites and for reds meant to be drunk young. However, you’re still more likely to find a cork in your bottle of high end wine.

And screw caps are easier to open

How many times have you been out for a picnic, camping or traveling and you forgot to bring a corkscrew? It’s happened to all of us. Despite the obvious convenience of a metal cap, there’s a certain ceremony about removing the cork that just isn’t the same with a twist off.

Ultimately, it’s your choice. It really doesn’t matter what the vineyard uses to keep the air away from your favourite wine. What matters is the wine, not price, not whether you enjoy a specific varietal or a blend, what matters is taste. When it comes to wine, you are the boss.

One thing is certain. It isn’t likely that you’ll collect screw caps to make that cool project you found on Pinterest.

The 19 Okanagan wine list

It’s our policy to support local farmers, vineyards and producers as often as we can, whether it’s the fruits and vegetables we serve, the cheeses and breads or the wines we offer.  We carefully select the wines we stock with emphasis on the Okanagan Valley. We encourage our clientele to do the same. Buy local, dine local.