It's a big question that’s been fermenting for years among wine producers, from Bordeaux to California to New Zealand. Throughout history, corks have provided a fairly benevolent environment in which wines can mature. But there’s been a recent shift=from cork to metal among some producers as an increased amount of wine seemed to be suffering from cork taint, leaving some wine tasting musty and dull. The culprit, which can spoil up to one in twenty bottles, is trichloroanisole (TCA), a compound formed when chlorine used for bleaching reacts with mold already growing in the cork. Humans are incredibly sensitive to the compound and can detect it even in weak dilutions. The problem with tainted corks is thought to be on the up because cork manufactures are finding it increasingly hard to find supplies of good quality cork to meet an increased demand; though there’s some evidence the cork industry is turning this trend around.
What About Synthetic Cork?
Of course, another alternative is synthetic ‘cork’, which is already in widespread use; but many vintners realize these do not provide a tighter seal than natural corks, many tasters complain of ‘plastic taint’, and many consumers find them difficult to remove and impossible to recycle.
An Industry Stance?
There is no official view yet among wine industry professionals. The general consensus is that it is up to the producers to decide how to close their wine. Everyone does agree that slow oxygenation is needed to age some types of wine. Screw cap proponents argue that wine is aged by oxygen in the wine itself and the tiny amount of residual air held between the cap and wine, while many producers remain resolute in their belief that oxygen is able to gradually seep through cork and into the bottle, and that this is the only way wine can mature.
And One More Thing…
Then we’re observing in Australia and New Zealand, where screw caps are plentiful, their solution to overcome the major obstacle facing screw caps—post-bottling sulphide reduction—is to dose wines with ‘heavy metal’ in the form of copper sulphate. No telling yet whether it’s something we’d embrace here; but, to purists, this philosophy demands that wines must adapt to its container, not the other way around. Where most people want fewer chemicals in their food and drink these days, screw cap advocates seem to be stepping in with more.
V. Sattui’s Position: Yes and No.
Our belief is that people haven’t attempted to keep wines for a long time with a screw cap, so we’re not going to switch wholly to metal closures without better evidence. While some wineries have taken the lead (risk?) in switching entirely to screw caps, we prefer to take small steps and have bottled six of our wines in metal closures. We believe they’re fine for maintaining freshness and fruitiness in our wines meant to be consumed early. So far we’ve seen no compromise in quality, nor has it met much customer resistance. But we’ll need more empirical data before moving further. We’re pretty sure that for long-term aging, cork is still it. Meantime, it seems change is likely to move at the pace of a maturing fine wine—all in good time.
Our chef, Gerardo Sainato, a native of Naples, Italy, with his well-practiced hands reaches deep into almost boiling water to twist and pull the soft white mass of curds, stretching and shaping slowly into perfectly smooth, creamy balls of warm fresh mozzarella. We offer own cheese daily and host a Mozzarella Bar every weekend (Spring through Fall) for our guests to enjoy with our wine as they sit under the oaks next to the Winery.
Grilled Italian bread, heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, the best olive oils and balsamic vinegars complement our fresh mozzarella. Adding the choices of roasted peppers with golden raisins and pine nuts, olive tapenade and roasted whole garlic, our Fresh Mozzarella Bar has become a huge hit with our summer guests and a favorite memory when paired with a bottle of V. Sattui wine. Try it when you visit again. Our Mozzarella Bar will make your weekend at V. Sattui an unforgettable culinary memory!
Our Mozzarella Bar Saturday & Sunday from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm.
After years of featuring the award-winning, premium-quality Salute Santé! Grapeseed Oil in our own Marketplace and recipes, V. Sattui Winery became partners in this small family-run Napa company back in 2006.
Salute Santé! Grapeseed Oil has long been the secret of gourmet chefs who love its light and nutty, yet neutral flavor. It has the unique ability to enhance the flavors of ingredients instead of overpowering them and leaves no greasy aftertaste! It makes savory marinades and salad dressings that will not cloud when chilled, so you can use them right out of the refrigerator. The high smoke point (485 F) makes it ideal for hot food preparation which means you can sauté, fry or bake without any smoking, splattering or burning. The excellent emulsification properties make it ideal for whipping mayonnaise and creamy dressings that will not separate when chilled.
The Salute Santé! Infused Grapeseed Oils shine with delicious fresh flavors, making them ideal as a liquid spice in all your cooking or as a simple and delicious dip for bread in place of butter or margarine.
Salute Santé! Grapeseed Oil is an ecologically sound product that is made from the seeds of grapes after the wine is pressed. There is no need for hybrid or genetically engineered crops, nor does it require new farmland, crops or water to produce.
Salute Santé! means “to your health” in Italian and French. Grapeseed oil is high in vitamin E and is 76% essential fatty acid, linoleic acid (also known as Omega 6). It is low in saturated fat, contains natural chlorophyll and valuable antioxidants (known as proanthocyninidins). Studies have shown a unique ability that may significantly raise HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol), lower LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and triglycerides; the effect of which may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and impotency, something that no other food product has been known to do!
It contains NO cholesterol, NO sodium and NO preservatives such as TBHQ or BHT. It is NOT hydrogenated and contains NO solvents, NO trans-fatty acids or free fatty acids.
Check out thier products at /Wine-Shop/Wine-Gifts---Accessories/Foods