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. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

How do temperature fluctuations damage screw-cap wines since they have near-perfect airtight seals?

—Holly, Boston

Dear Holly,

It’s true that twist-off closures have an advantage over corks when it comes to temperature fluctuations. Because corks can expand and contract, oxygen can find its way into a bottle, possibly prematurely aging the wine inside. Since screw caps don’t react the same way, they’re thought to be less susceptible to the shifts in temperature.

But temperature fluctuations are believed to still negatively affect a wine. After all, heating and cooling can speed up or slow down the changes taking place inside the bottle. So, follow the same guidelines for storing wines under twist-offs as you would for wines with corks—keep them at a constant, cool temperature away from light and vibration.

—Dr. Vinny


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