New Study Could Prove Effectiveness of Screw Caps
The University of California at Davis is conducting a new study that could help end the debate on whether screw cap closures are as effective as natural corks when it comes to aging wine. The university is working with the PlumpJack Group, a wine and hospitality company, cofounded by billionaire philanthropist Gordon Getty and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, to assess the quality and aging potential of different closures. The goal is to provide direction for the industry so vintners can make informed decisions about what to use on their bottles.
The two-year study will analyze wines under three different types of closures—screw caps, synthetic corks and natural corks. The test group, which consists of 200 bottles of Cade Sauvignon Blanc 2011, will be monitored every few months using a spectrometer to detect changes in color. The wines will also be chemically analyzed using oxygen sensors placed inside the bottles. The sensors allow the university to measure how a wine is aging without opening it. The wines that show differences will be opened at the end of the study and tasted to determine if the quality has been compromised.
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