Quick Sips — 04 September 2015
Screw-top bottle wines get some new respect

By Bob Hosmon

Some of you may recall a time when the only wines sealed with screw-caps were fortified libations with names like “Thunderbird” and “MD 20/20.”  No respectable wine would use screw-caps; cork was the only acceptable closure.

That was then and this is now.  Ever since Plump Jack, a highly prized, $250-a-bottle California cabernet switched to screw caps in 1997, a lot of wineries have followed suit. Ask most winemakers these days, off the record, and they’ll tell you that screw-caps are a perfect sealant for wine.

If you are still dubious about the efficacy of screw-caps, just consider these wines without corks.  They come in white and red and sell in a range of prices.  They’re easy to open and reseal, and, best of all, they’re really good.

The Belle Glos Meomi Pinot Noir ($22) is, arguably, one of the truly great bargains in California pinot, perfect for casual dinners. The more expensive Talbott Sleepy Hollow Pinot Noir ($44) is a richly nuanced red well worth the price.  Both wines are ideal for serving with grilled salmon or perhaps a special paté.

Looking for something different in red?  Then consider Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot ($14) from Washington State’s Columbia Valley; Inconceivable Cabernet Sauvignon “After the Floods” ($25); California’s Four Vines Truant Zinfandel ($14); and Argento Malbec ($14). I like the merlot and the cab with Yankee pot roast, the zin with pasta and the Malbec with grilled burgers.

If you prefer something in white, then opt for Murphy-Goode Pinot Grigio ($13), Niner Estate Albariño ($20) and J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc ($25).  The pinot grigio is terrific with fish tacos, as is the California albariño; and the chardonnay will turn any meal with fish or chicken into a memorable feast.

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