Hot topic: screwcaps

23 March, 2007

Is Berry Bros' decision to move its house wines into screwcap (Wine News) a sign of growing acceptance for the closure among wine merchants? Or do the historical links between fine wine and cork make wine specialists the last bastion for the pro-cork cam

paigner? OLN picked at random 10 retailers from our database of 512 wine merchants to find out just how far screwcaps have penetrated the market.

Paul Tutton, Waterloo Wine Co, London

1 per cent

"The wines we like tend not to be screwcaps, because most of our business is not at the bottom end of the market and we don't deal with basic wines."

Maureen McCormack, Bowers Wines and Spirits, Salcombe, Devon

1 per cent

"I find that some firms are bringing in screwcaps while others are going back to cork. We sell more screwcaps in the summer for people going on picnics who ask for it specifically, but generally they buy for the wine, not how it's sealed."

Helene Garlick, Dukes of Ingleton, Carnforth, Lancashire

3 per cent

"Most of the wines I stock just happen to be cork (sealed), but I'm in a tourist area and we have a lot of visitors coming in wanting wine for overnight so screwcaps are ideal."

James Wrobel, Cornelius Beer and Wine, Edinburgh

5 to 10 per cent

"Customers don't mind it in the slightest and are more than happy with it. It's supplier-led if anything else, but I'm fine with selling wine with screwcaps and I think we will see more of it in the future."

John Horton, Addison Wines, Telford, Shropshire

10 per cent

"We're more of a wholesale operation for restaurants and hotels which tend to be slower in taking screwcaps, but by the end of this year I estimate that 50 per cent of our core lines will be screwcap. Restaurants weren't interested before, but now they realise that screwcaps can save them time."

Alexander Carr, Market Place Wine Shop, Halesworth, Suffolk

10 per cent

"We don't go out looking for screwcaps, but I think it's the only way forward if we are not going to get the good corkage. We have had no-one bring anything back yet with the screwcap. I expect we'll be stocking more of them in the future."

Abbi Beavis, Heritage Wine Co, Gloucestershire

20 per cent

"Some customers like screwcaps, some don't. It's not a good or a bad thing really, it's just the way it is."

Ian Kershaw, William Morton ,


40 per cent

"It's easier to open and frankly the wine should be as fresh as the day it was put in the bottle. It just seems to be the way things are going. The top end wines like Bordeaux and Burgundy will never go to screwcap because there's a following for cork, but the New World has led the way with screwcaps and now everybody is doing it. The more the better as far as I'm concerned - it's less hassle for everyone."

Nicola Scrutton, Grapeland, St Albans, Hertfordshire

40 per cent

"Our Australian and New Zealand wines, and more of our New World stuff, tends to be screwcap. Obviously it suits young-drinking white wines and some of the New World young-drinking red wines, but not so much the French and Italian wines. Our customers don't seem to mind screwcaps - some say they actually prefer them. I think it just goes with the wine, obviously they are not going to buy a top-end Bordeaux with a screwcap."

Melanie Johnson, Lanchester Wine Cellars, Lanchester, Durham

50 per cent

"We hold a lot of quarter bottles which are screwcaps but, saying that, some of the 75cl bottles are changing. Some producers are sticking to cork, but we are seeing more coming in that are screwcap."

What percentage of your wines are screwcapped?


Fewer than 10% of wines: 40%

Between 10% and 30%: 30%

Between 31% and 50%: 20%

More than 50%: 10%

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