About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007
A New Contender

The battle between screw cap and cork is pretty much over in Australia, with the screw cap emerging a decisive winner, even some French wine companies have turned to this closure, though at the top end of the market there is still some resistance. However, not everyone shares our belief in screw cap technology. It came as a surprise when I opened this bottle of Austrian gruner veltliner, to discover that what appeared to be a screw cap, was in fact a protective cover for a glass stopper lurking underneath.

The stopper itself is not very big and the tapered plug only inserts some 2cm (3/4") into the bottle, but it does have an effective seal as it pops ever so slightly when pulled out. The only difficulty lay in the stopper being somewhat stubborn to remove by hand. The Austrians, and I believe some Germans, must have looked at the success of the screw cap in preserving quality, particularly in delicate and aromatic white wines, but perhaps felt they needed something that looked a bit classier, more in keeping with their long and mostly illustrious wine history.

The wine, from the grape variety gruner veltliner, is largely unknown in this country, but enjoys some popularity and a good reputation in its homeland Austria. The nose was flint with a touch of smoke and the aromatic fruit was mouth filling, but fell away quickly, leaving traces of mineral with an extended length. Altogether a pleasing wine that would work well with seafood and has enough weight to cope with spicy sausages.
  posted at 11:06 am

At 1:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went to a Salomon masterclass earlier this year and Bert Salomon said that he felt the glass closure and screwcap were technically equal, just that consumer acceptance of the glass closure was significantly better in Europe. I've also heard Henschke have been trialling this closure on their top wines.

It has been a very sad week in Austrian wine (maybe why you opened this?) with both Alois Kracher and Erich Salomon passing away.

At 7:20 am, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

It does look classy.
Your words are taste enough that I'd love a real glass instead of the virtual one I have here.

At 7:43 am, Blogger Katie Zeller said...

I've not seen that yet! Can you put it back and get a decent enough seal - it looks like therels plastic around the top....
I haven't seen a screw cap here is France, yet, either... I know they're out there, though.

At 8:23 am, Blogger Gigi said...

I like the look! And I know I'm missing something, but what about the synthetic corks? Most of the bottles that I open here are made of this material, whatever it is, and I've not heard of a problem. And you still get the 'ritual' sense of uncorking a bottle, which is nice.

I have to admit that screw caps take me back to memories of cheap sangria and campfires on the beach. Not bad memories, you understand, but not exactly elegant either... ;D

At 10:11 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi cam, that is sad news, no, I didn't know. There is now doubt the glass stopper looks better than the screw cap, it would be great if it was a little easier to remove though.

Hi tanna, it does have a bit of class about it. I'm sure someone over your way stocks this wine, it's worth a look and no too expensive either.

Hi katiez, we drank the bottle at one sitting, but I have been putting the stopper in and out and it seems to seal okay every time, There is plastic there which forms the seal, but very little of it is in contact with the wine, just one edge.

Hi gig, we are aussies are just slackers and find it too easy just to unscrew the cap than worry about any sort of cork. Mmm, sangria, campfires and a beach...sounds wonderful!

At 1:27 pm, Blogger Ed Charles said...

I think there's a company in brisbane making a glass closure over here. A sad week indeed which is perhaps why I was drawn to a glass of Kracher yesterday.

At 4:21 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi ed, funny, I've never seen a glass closure before now, wonder where the Brisbane ones are going.

I think we should all have a drink to two fine wine men.

At 11:17 am, Blogger Jeanne said...

Hey - I saw these in the summer - unsurprisingly in Austria! They are pure class... I had tasted gruner veltliner before our Austrian trip and not liked it too much - a bit too green for me. But it is veyr hard to escape GV in Austria and I discovered that, as with Chenin Blanc, it can be made in a delicious softer and spicier full-bodied style as well as the fresh green style that most people know.


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