By now you might know our opinion on screwcap. It is undoubtedly the best closure available for wine today. Now the screwcap revolution is moving to sparkling wine, and it is the Australian’s who are once again pioneering the technology.
Two Aussie companies, Guala Closures and glass manufacturer O-I, have developed a new high pressure screwcap in conjunction with De Bortoli Wines, an Australian wine empire hailing from Northern Italy. The major incentive for developing a screwcap closure for sparkling wines was to benefit bars and restaurants. This new system helps keep the sparkle in the bottle for longer, a very practical solutions given the circumstances in the trade.
As much as I’m a screwcap advocate, and I do think this is a great idea for the trade, I’m not completely sold on it. Critically, I’m not sure how it is going to fly for the average consumer. Not yet anyway. There is still some resistance to change surrounding still wines and screwcap, but sparkling is another ball game altogether.
I can, however, see the benefits at the lower end. A lightly sparkling Moscato or Prosecco Frizzante are under lower atmospheric pressure when bottled. Packaging and closures are less sensitive at the lower price level. Perhaps the Viiva (the name given to the new closure) will better retain the bubbles throughout the life of the wine, or simply act as a more reliable seal, so when we open it at home we’ll receive the same wine that every other consumer of the same product is getting. As the winemaker intended, so to speak.
Inevitably though, the classic sound of the cork popping, or the fun of aiming it at the back of someones head, would not be possible with Viiva. A lot of people say to me that even with still wines they like the ritual of popping the cork. I can see where they are coming from. For me it wouldn’t justify using a closure that risks cork taint, as well as the other impracticalities that come with cork, but the pop of the cork from a bottle of bubbly is more than a ritual…
I see it as the green light for “let’s party!”