Screwcaps- what do you do with’em?


Screwcap and Stelvin liner


The correct way to open a screwtop

The other night at the Guanabara wine tasting a fellow asked me what I thought of screwcaps. More precisely, what did I think the server should do with the screwcap after the bottle has been opened?

I did an informal survey amongst the bloggers around the table and the funniest but true comment came from Foodrambler, who said that when the server unscrewed the cap, it made her feel like a moron, like she couldn’t even unscrew a bottlecap. If you really ARE a moron, the NZ Screwcap Wine Seal Initiative has step by step instructions to help you figure it out. I can see where she’s coming from but it seems a bit abrupt for the waiter to just drop the bottle off and walk away. Or maybe I’m being old-fashioned. I mean, nowadays, who’s got time for such formalities and outdated rituals?

The whole point of showing and leaving the cork on the table was to prevent unscrupulous restauranteurs in Paris, back in the day, from substituting cheap plonk for the expensive stuff. The cork was presented so that the diner could inspect it for any tampering and to confirm that it had actually come from the vineyard that was on the label (not to sniff it). The producers were more then happy to print their names on the cork to prevent themselves from being ripped off as well.

Nowadays we don’t really have to worry about that, well, the recent Italian Barolo scandal notwithstanding, but what to do with the screwcap? I think that the screwcap should be treated like the foil, take it away as soon as the bottle is open. Others seem to think it should be left on the table, much like the cork. And others probably have more important things to do then ponder what to do with the screwcap once the bottle is open!


  1. the only problem is that you would probably have to tap it so hard to get everyone’s attention that it would be smushed flat and then the poor person who just wanted a taste wouldn’t get any at all! Better to just take it away….

  2. I think the server should pretend the cap is a cork and leave it. Then you can use it to tap on on your glass to call for a toast. And if someone at your table doesn’t want a glass, but would like to taste the wine, you could pour a sample in the cap and pass it down.

  3. me neither until it was brought to my attention but I think I have to agree with Oscar, I’m much more interested in what’s IN the bottle…

  4. cant say I’ve given it much any thought!

  5. Oscar,you’re right! Maybe that’s why I’ve never put much thought into it.

    Foodrambler, initially I was going to just blow off that suggestion but then I started asking around and people definitely have opinions about screwcaps. So thanks to the wine taster guy for that suggestion!

  6. I belong to the third group, I prefer to ponder over the wine!!

  7. foodrambler /

    Haha! You actually did the post – brilliant. I thought you might just be fobbing off that wine taster man.

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