A recent post by “So, You Want To Be A Waiter?” (excellent blog, by the way, with lots of interesting posts, links, news, etc.) talked a bit about the increasingly common occurrence of screw cap, or Stelvin Closure, wines on wine lists, even in the “higher end” establishments. Indeed, check average at our place is well over $120 per guest, and the wine list has an extensive collection of older Burgundies, Bordeaux and Napa Valley Cabs. Yet, we have quite a few screw-top bottles in inventory.
The now somewhat subsiding wine glut of the early 2000’s put an incredible amount of strain on cork suppliers resulting not only in increased prices due to the supply and demand curve, but also in inferior, too-young, and tainted cork entering the market. Wineries like to tell the public that TCA or “Cork Taint” affects about two percent of their product. Those of of us that open and serve wine for a living know the real number to be closer to ten. I know of no other industry where you can stay in business when so large a percentage of your product has the potential to be flawed. I can guarantee you that if they were making brake pads with these percentages, they’d be in Court being sued and out of business soon after.