Screw-Cap Wine Tastes Like Corked Wine, Study Shows

OPB | Aug. 1, 2007 7:49 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:19 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By Rob Manning

Oregon State University researchers released a study Thursday shedding new light on how people feel about wine — and more precisely, how they feel about the stopper in the bottle.

The study found a bias among wine drinkers against synthetic corks or screw tops. But that loyalty dissolves in blind taste tests, according to Anna Marin, with OSU's Food Innovation Center.

Anna Marin: People could not tell the difference between the wine when they tasted it — between a natural cork, a synthetic cork, and a screw cap wine. So it's a perceptual thing from the cork closure — it's an idea that the quality of the wine is not as high. And in reality, the wine in the bottle, it's just the same.

Wineries have been moving toward synthetic corks, or screw tops, because natural cork is subject to fungal contamination.

Marin says that some winemakers have had success converting customers to the newer seals, once they convince them that the wine is just as good.

The OSU research appears in the summer issue of the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture.

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