MacDeffe wrote:But a lot of wine producers have changed material as well, I am sure why..
This is still an area of debate as far as I'm concerned. Generally speaking, the pros and cons (with wine) break down as follows...NATURAL CORKS
1. Allow (ideally) a slow air-fluid/oxidation process, which can (in particular) benefit wines (both red and white) suited to medium to long-term cellaring.
2. Add a certain cachet to broaching a bottle.
3. Benefit the environment in terms of cork trees providing habitats for a multitude of species.
1. Variability of quality as well as periodic occurrence of tainting of the contents.
2. Succeptibility to degradation over the mid to long-term, often necessitating recorking of bottles.SYNTHETIC CORKS
1. Relative impermeability when compared to natural corks.
1. Often more difficult to remove with corkscrews.
2. Can prematurely strip teflon (or other non-stick) coatings from corkscrews.
3. Almost impossible to reinsert into bottles once removed.SCREW-CAP CLOSURES
1. Usually provide almost air-tight seals when properly done.
2. Significantly retard air-fluid exchange/oxidation (particularly advantageous with regard to delicately balanced white wines).
1. Less stylish when broaching bottles. Let's face it... There's little cachet in unscrewing the top closure of a wine bottle!
2. Can retard air-fluid exchange/oxidation to the point of slowing down the maturation process of the contents to a 'crawl'. This is OK if you have the patience to wait decades for your cellarable wine to reach its apogee. Otherwise...
3. Requires hefty investment of wineries in the specialized machinery necessary to install screwtops.