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Maybe sometimes there is a reason for bargains.  In June, in an article on inexpensive white wines, I wrote a note on a lovely Spanish white wine – Condesa De Sarabella 2009 Viura. I gave it a Highly Recommended rating and at $4.99 it looks like a great bargain. And, since I drink my own recommendations, I have enjoyed drinking several bottles and every one I have served it to has loved it. It is delicious! But, as much as I love drinking the wine, I hate pulling the cork. You see the wine has this synthetic cork. And it is a very pretty yellow color which contrasts beautifully with the very striking label. So far so good – beautiful package, lovely wine, and a bargain price. One small problem – it is almost impossible to get the synthetic cork out of the bottle. An Ah So will not go down the side of the synthetic cork since it is in so tight. A cork screw will barely penetrate the hard-as-nails synthetic cork. And once in, it is extremely hard to get the synthetic cork out of the bottle and off the cork screw. With one bottle I nearly broke the bottle trying to get the cork out. What a pain!

So caveat emptor! Maybe the bargain $4.99 price reflects a discount for all the aggravation and pain of trying to get to the wine. And, just for the record, I hate these fake corks. I know there can be a problem with real corks in terms of quality and cost. I also know a lot of wines do not need real corks. Inexpensive wines and wines meant to be consumed young are prime examples. However, why do we need these fake corks that are so hard to get out of the bottle? Screw caps are so simple. Get over the image thing. I say if you can’t have a real cork, then on to screw caps!

In Vino Veritas,

John Tilson