Screwcaps under attack, but will prevail

StelvinIn a recent story on Decanter, researchers from Cairn Environment for Oeneo Bouchage in France assert that the manufacturing of Screw Caps has a bigger carbon imprint over Corks, and therefore is bad for the environment.

The production of screwcaps gives off over 10kg of CO2 per tonne compared with 2.5kg of CO2 per tonne for corks

That’s great and all, but as some savy readers of Decanter point out, there are more than a few flaws with the data.

First off, how many Screw caps make up a ton vs. how many corks? It would be nice to know the actual emission number per closure.

Secondly, the study says nothing of the impact of aluminum closures being recyclable versus corks, and the impact that has on the environment.

Third, what about the wines that are more likely to be tainted by TCA that are sealed under cork? Does the study measure the impact all of those bad bottles of wine that were produced, transported, and then thrown away versus ones sealed with a cork that were not bad, therefore not a waste of fuel, packaging, etc?

Forth, how big of a footprint is left from the transportation of the majority of corks produced in Spain and Portugal around the world, versus countries that have screw cap manufacturing plants in closer vacinity?

Fifth, what is the footprint of the alumium foil cover on bottles sealed with corks versus screw caps that don’t necessitate the foil?

Sixth, how about the energy used to manufacture corkscrews, rabbits, foil cutters, etc?

Now, I will admit that screw caps have their fair shair of faults; mined from the earth, not sustainable, chlorine taint during production can also cause TCA taint in bottles sealed with any closure. But I think when you look at the whole picture, the consumer is tired of hearing attacks against closures that are far superior to corks, and are already here to stay.

The other night I walked up to the bar at a concert, and I heard a woman behind me tell her husband she wanted a glass of wine. He asked her which one, to which she replied, “Anything sealed with a screw cap.”

The smell of change is in the air.