Friday, July 14, 2006

Plastic Corks and Screwtops

My friend Nige - whose downtime consists of an emotionally-charged package of Schubert, country music and, crucially, wine - has become exercised about the use of plastic stoppers and screwtops rather than corks.
"Thanks to these abominations," he writes, "what should be one of the most enjoyable everyday experiences in life is robbed of all its pleasure, denatured and turned into a trial of brute strength between man and plastic. And nobody seems to care. I count on you to wake up the nation to this menace..."
Very well. Here is the story in full.
It is, you see, complicated. Do corks actually cause wine to be corked, as the plastic fantastic fanatics claim? Or is it something else, as the corksters assert? These are deep waters. Aesthetically, of course, Nige is right in this as in so many things. Corks are the more lovely closure and the gentle, sensual slide and pop of a cork goes better with the Flying Burrito Bros or Death and the Maiden than the nasty, rubbery slither of plastic. The British, it seems, import more wine than any other nation. Perhaps, then, it is the British who must turn the tide.


  1. And another thing. Even if you leave the aesthetics on one side (dangerous I know), the plastic 'cork' is, in Mr Reid's resonant phrase, 'not fit for purpose'. Because, unlike cork, there is scarcely any give in it, it's hard work just getting the corkscrew in, let alone extracting the thing - and, once out, it's impossible to get back in. What's more, you can't sniff it and tell what the wine's like before you taste it.
    If corks must go - and pray G-- that day never dawns - the screwtop wld be vastly preferable.
    Now, must get back to my new CD - Gram Parsons Sings Winterreise...
    Nige Again

  2. Bring back the oily rag I say !