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More Screw Top Notes

Reader Mark Finley writes about his screw top experience. Several years ago he and his brother heard that Federated was blowing out 375 ml bottles of Glenmorangie Scotch for $10 a bottle. They went down to the store and cleaned them out. Soon thereafter, UCLA quit selling beer at their football games, so Mark and his buddy hit upon the idea to use these empty screw top bottles to sneak wine into the games. After a few years, they switched to some plastic flasks that were a little larger and fit better down their pants. Mark also found that the bottles worked well to store the remaining wine in an opened 750 ml bottle. Eventually the tops gave out and he tossed the bottles— a big mistake. He bought some wine half bottles with screw tops to replace them, but they were tinted and this made it difficult to pour the wine to the top unless he was in bright light. He has discovered that the screw tops on all of these bottles are pretty much interchangeable, but he wishes he had held onto those clear glass Glenmorangies.

Quarterly Review of Wines (Winter, 2002/2003) published some funny opinions of wine drinkers on screw caps. One unrepentant cork-sniffer said, “It’s ghastly. What’s next, Chateau Yquem in pop-top cans and foie gras T.V. dinners?” From a sommelier, “It was bad enough being referred to as a ‘cork dork,’ now they are going to call me a ‘screw ball.’ Another comment was “I hate loud popping noises. You know what I’m saying? They give me the willies. A cork pops, and I think it’s Big Vinnie coming to get me. Give me a screw cap any time.” And finally, from an emergency room worker: Until recently, we had a lot of sommeliers coming in with separated shoulders and dislocated elbows from pulling too hard on their corkscrews. It was heart-rending. But now, with screw caps, they come in mostly with cramped fingers and minor wrist sprains. So the severity of the injuries has gone way down.

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