I have a few bottles of screwcapped white wine in the fridge that have been there for a few years. Are they still good?

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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?

—Davy, Toronto

Dear Davy,

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.

—Dr. Vinny

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