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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Screw Top Letters

I was thinking about having a glass of wine before going to bed last night, but I didn'’t. Why not? I don'’t have a stopper, and I didn't want to uncork a full bottle for just one glass. The obvious solution to this problem is to have wine bottles with screwcaps.

Now, I can get a stopper pretty easily, but screwcaps would still be a good thing, because it would prevent wine from ruin at the hands of a crumbled cork. Corked wine is nasty and should be avoided like a Rob Schneider movie. (Professor Stephen Bainbridge, an oenophile/UCLA Law prof with whom I haven't had a class, frequently mentions his preference for screwcaps/distaste for cork.)

Unfortunately, screwcaps are not going to become prevalent any time soon. The wine industry digs on tradition, and cork is a big part of that. There'’s a whole ritual involving sniffing corks and whatnot, and there are wine accessories where you can make things out of your used corks. When you bring wine to a restaurant, they charge you a "“corkage"” fee. I suppose they'’d charge it if you brought a screwcap bottle, because they still bring you glasses, but you could try to argue semantics.

Simply put, screwcaps aren'’t sexy. Screwcaps are sneakers, sweatpants, and a t-shirt; cork is [insert trendy shoes here], [insert trendy designer here], and those dumbass-looking oversized sunglasses that everyone in L.A. wears. Just like screwcaps are associated with Two-Buck Chuck and Mad Dog and not Opus One, you don'’t see sweatpants walking on Rodeo Drive.

The problem is that it'’s not the clothes, it'’s the wearer. Any woman can try to look sexy when she's all made up and dressed to go clubbing, but a truly sexy woman can pull it off lounging around in warmups. Similarly, it'’s all about the wine inside the bottle -– if it'’s a superb wine, you can pour me a glass regardless of whether you unscrewed or uncorked the bottle.

Of course, trends aren'’t set from the bottom. Unless Scarlett Johansson attends the Oscars wearing clothes from Target, don'’t expect to see the fashion parade to make a run on sweats. The industry won'’t change until its all-stars blaze the trail. Until then, it'’ll just be a few outliers and Boone'’s Farm.

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  • At Wednesday, May 10, 2006 2:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    1) Screwtops have started to show up on 'nice' wine, especially bottles from small-production craft wineries, because it's so much cheaper than cork. The stigma is fast fading.

    2) Corks are not for sniffing.

    3) Screwtops do not solve the main problem, which is that oxidation rapidly spoils leftover wine in the bottle.

     
  • At Thursday, May 11, 2006 12:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And then there is the premise of your Screw Top Letter to consider: drinking only one glass after having opened a bottle of wine! As a recovering alcoholic, I stand in awe of the very source of your dilemma. . .

     
  • At Wednesday, May 17, 2006 5:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Alex, dude, get a vacuum pump. It makes life much easier.

    I like this one: http://www.tabletools.com/tabletools/showdetl.cfm/782/vacu-vin-vacuum-wine-saver-white.html

    Although you can get it for $9.95 at most stores and wineries.

     

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