Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I have a few bottles of screwcapped white wine in the fridge that have been there for a few years. Are they still good? Or should I just throw them out?
I’ve answered many versions of this question, and I usually go on about how refrigerators are bad because they can dry out a cork and prematurely age a wine. But what about screwcaps?
Many producers choose this alternative closure as a way to eliminate concerns for corky wines, or TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole), which can affect wines through faulty corks. Screwcaps are also believed to be more consistent and slower for aging wine than corks, which can have a lot of variation. Some of those wines might be quite nice!
Wine can still be off under a screwcap—it can have other flaws before it was bottled, or if the screwcap is dented, some oxygen can slip in there. That said, I would have more confidence that wines bottled under screwcaps would fare better in a refrigerator than the same wine bottled under cork, but the only way to find out is to crack them open and taste them.