Cork Vs. Screw Cap: Which Is Better?

There are many myths and misconceptions flying around the wine community. They say sulfates cause headaches, sparkling wine doesn’t pair well with food, white wines should always be served chilled. 

And the Big Kahuna – cork wine is better than screw cap wine.

We hate to burst your bubble, but the reality is screw caps are just as good as corks. In fact, the two sealing methods are nearly identical when it comes to their ability to store and age wine. Screw tops may even offer some sustainability and convenience advantages that corks can’t. So let’s settle the age-old cork vs. screw cap debate, once and for all.

how to avoid breaking the wine cork

Why corks aren’t all they’re corked up to be 

Sure, something about the rigamarole of opening a corked bottle of wine feels elevated, (perhaps because we assume when you work for something in life, it will taste better), but the truth is not all corks are 100% natural. 

Oftentimes the cork you’re yanking out of your wine bottle isn’t natural cork – it’s a low quality alternative. 

100% natural corks are among the only sealing options that are truly renewable, but that comes with a high price. Because of this, you’ll generally only find 100% real cork in bottles over $30. 

Screw caps are much cheaper to manufacture, as they’re usually made of aluminum and a neutral plastic liner. 

What about a cork’s ability to let wine breathe?  

You may be thinking, “aren’t corks better because they allow wine to breathe?” These days, you actually buy screw tops with calculated levels of oxygen ingress. 

It’s true – screw cap wines are generally meant to be consumed within a year or two – but that’s the case for most wines you pick up at the grocery store nowadays.

If you’re planning on aging your bottle of wine in a cellar for years and years on end, cork may still be your best option. 

The future of wine 

As we head toward a more sustainable society, we’re forced to turn a magnifying glass on our bottling practices. 

Screw tops seem to be the future of the wine world. In fact, some countries like Australia use screw caps almost exclusively – you’ll notice this on our Bushtelly Australian Shiraz and our Austrian Tag & Title wines. 

Bright Cellars’ Bushtelly Shiraz

Your warm weather drinking companion

Another benefit of screw top wine? It’s great for on-the-go or outside consumption. If you’re heading to a picnic on the lawn, a backyard BBQ, or a concert in the park, you don’t need to worry about lugging along your foil cutter, bottle opener, and bottle stopper. And if you don’t finish the entire bottle, resealing and transporting back home is a breeze. 

In Vino Finito

Now that you know the cork vs. screw cap pros and cons, are you more inclined to try screw cap wine? Let us know in the comments! 

Cheers to breaking down misconceptions, one bottle at a time! Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Glass Half Full for more wine wisdom and myth busting.



Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

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