ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

Why does this wine have a screw-on lid, rather than the traditional cork?

—Sheila, Greensboro, N.C.

Dear Sheila,

I’m a fan of twist-offs, which are easy to open, easy to re-seal, recyclable and never crumble in my hands. Many producers have switched over to screw caps and other non-cork closures as a way to ensure quality and reduce the possibility of contamination with TCA (the chemical compound 2,4,6-trichloroanisole), which can make its way into a bottle via the cork and cause unpleasant musty, damp notes in a wine.

You’ll see twist-offs topping all types of wine from affordable, everyday quaffers to some very high-end, ageworthy wines. Often folks ask how to store bottles topped with a screw cap, and the answer is, any way you want.

—Dr. Vinny


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