When you see a screw cap, it’s not uncommon to immediately think “cheap wine”. This is a consumer perception some winemakers have struggled to overcome. In reality, screw caps provide one of the best seals for bottled wines. With the screw cap you don’t have to worry about “corked” and oxidation problems that may occur with a traditional natural cork. Great wines, such as Conundrum and even Plumpjack all use screw caps. Another favorite sealed without a cork is Erath Pinot Noir.
I first discovered Erath Pinot Noir during a night out with co-workers at Olive & Ivy in Scottsdale, AZ. Prior to this, I had really only tasted Pinot’s from California. At first sip, I knew this one was different. In general, Oregon pinot’s are lighter in color, and have earthy aromas and subtle fruit character compared to California style pinot’s which are much darker in color, fuller-bodied, and have stronger fruit aromas and taste.
The ’09 Erath Oregon Pinot Noir has smells of raspberry pie, and fresh, bright flavors on the palate. It does well on its own, but is best with food. We recently enjoyed a bottle with prosciutto and a ‘nutty’ cheese, followed with a thin crust margherita pizza (delicious!).
Shortly after discovering the wine, I recall ‘finding’ it among the many bottles lined up down the grocery store aisles. I was so excited to see it, and then realized, it was probably there all along and I had probably snubbed it because of the screw cap. Shame on me, I had no idea what a gem was inside!
We enjoyed the wine so much (and so often), it was top of the list of places to visit during our first trip to the Willamette Valley, OR. (read A great day in Willamette Valley, Oregon for other great wines from this region). While at the winery, we discovered several other great wines ~ including their Sweet Harvest Pinot Blanc which was served during our Pinot-Palooza party in 2010.
Next time you are cruising the wine aisle at your local store, don’t immediately skip over the bottles with screw caps, you may just miss out on a gem! Want to know which wines are topped with a screw cap? Wine.com features a section devoted entirely to screw cap wines.
What hidden gem have you found in a screw cap?