30 Second Wine Advisor: Screw cap attitude 30 Second Wine Advisor: Screw cap attitude

Today's Sponsor

Pour confidently with The California Wine Club!
It's that time of year again when The California Wine Club offers deep discounts on holiday gifts reserved now.
The California Wine Club

Screw cap attitude

While I was shopping for Italian white wines to highlight in this month's Wine Focus in our WineLovers Discussion Group, a funny thought crossed my mind: Nowadays, I generally prefer to see a screw cap on most bottles of wine.

The simple reality is that a screw cap all but guarantees that the wine in the bottle - barring great age or a freak accident - will be fresh and clean as the wine maker intended.

A natural cork, for all its tradition and heritage, can't make that guarantee. And the likelihood that the bottle-neck capsule conceals a synthetic stopper may be even worse; without a formal tally, I'm beginning to suspect that the percentage of wines spoiled by premature aging under synthetic exceeds even the loss of wood-bark corked wines to fungal "taint."

The older, cheaply constructed screw cap was long maligned as evidence of rotgut wine in the bottle, to the extent that it took considerable cheek for the industry to introduce the upgraded Stelvin-brand screw cap on finer wines. The wine industry is a conservative business, and there's enough nostalgic affection for the tree-bark cork to ensure its survival for decades to come.

But increasingly, I think, I join many other wine enthusiasts in a significant attitude shift: All other things being equal, show me two similar wines - one with screw cap and the other bearing a capsule that doesn't reveal whether a natural or synthetic cork awaits within - and I'll take the screw-capped bottle up to the cash register.

Today's tasting, Umani Ronchi 2008 "Exclamation Point" Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico from Le Marche ("The Marches") on the Adriatic in Eastern Italy, stood out on the shelf with its sturdy, bright chartreuse metal screw cap. It stood out on the dinner table with fresh, crisp floral fruit and a clean, natural flavor.

We're featuring white wines from the top to the toe of Italy's boot in this month's Wine Focus on our WineLovers Discussion Group.

For a good overview of all Italy's whites, from the Terlaner of Alto Adige in the Alps to Grillo of Sicily in the South and all the intriguing regions and varieties in-between, visit the Appellations Page on the Italian Wine Commission's ItalianMade.com Website, choose "White" from the pulldown menu, and enjoy hours of exploring maps, wine and cultural information and even recipes from all of Italy's wine regions.

You're warmly invited to participate in Wine Focus. Simply click over to the WineLovers Discussion Group this month with your questions, tasting notes and what have you. Click here to read and take part in this month's Wine Focus discussion on Italian whites.

The discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D".

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine and food forums.


Today's Sponsor

California Wine Club

Pour confidently with The California Wine Club!

Uncertain about which wine to buy and tired of throwing money away on bad wine? The California Wine Club can help.

The California Wine Club guarantees every wine featured because they do what other wine clubs do not:

* Guarantees that every wine comes from a smaller, real-working winery
* Visits each winery, gets to know the family and shares their stories with you
* Tastes thousands of wines before choosing the best
* Promises that every wine you receive is one you will pour with confidence

Experience The California Wine Club for yourself! Each month includes two bottles of award-winning wine and detailed 12-page publication, Uncorked. Just $35.95 per month, and you may choose to receive wines monthly, every other month or quarterly. Visit www.cawineclub.com to become a member now, or call 1-800-777-4443.

The California Wine Club takes the guesswork out of picking wine and delivers the best wine, every time!


Today's Tasting Report

Umani Ronchi 2008 "Exclamation Point" Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico ($13)

Umani Ronchi

Clear straw color with glints of white; just a hint of a greenish brassy hue. Aromatic melon and floral scents, something on the heady side like gardenias. Textured and rich on the palate, with mouth-watering acidity to perk up the palate for food. White fruit and a touch of almond carries into a long, clean finish. A rational 12% alcohol enhances its drinkability, and lemon-squirt acidity makes it a natural with seafood and fish. U.S. importer: Bedford International, Larchmont, N.Y. (July 2, 2010)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with all manner of shellfish and white, firm-fleshed ocean fish, servicable with poultry, veal or pork. It was a natural match with (and ingredient in) linguine with white clam sauce.

VALUE: A fine value in the lower teens, .

PRONUNCIATION:
"Verdicchio de Castelli dei Jesi" = "Vehr-DEEK-k'yo deh Cahs-TELL-lee day-ee Yehs-ee"

WEB LINKS: Here's the importer's fact sheet on Umani Ronchi and its wines. To view the Italian Trade Center's info page on Verdicchio Castelli dei Jesi, click here.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and compare prices for Umani Ronchi "Exclamation Point" Verdicchio on Wine-Searcher.com.


Talk About Wine Online

If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group, the Internet's first and still the most civil online community. To find our forums, click:
http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/village

Discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D". Anonymous, cryptic or first-name-only registrations are discarded without notice.

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.

To contact me by E-mail, write wine@wineloverspage.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.


Subscriptions and Administrivia

Unsubscribe:
We're sorry if you must leave us, but simply click the "unsubscribe"
link at the bottom of your Email edition to be instantly removed from the mailing list.

Change address:
With our new Email system, the easiest way to change your Email address is simply to register anew, using the link below. If you are keeping your old address, you may unsubscribe; if you are closing it, you needn't take any action, as our system will delete your old address as soon as the mail starts to "bounce."

Subscribe to this Email edition (free):
http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor

WineLoversPage.com RSS Feed (free):
http://www.wineloverspage.com/rss

Wine Advisor Archives:
http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/archives.php

Sponsorship Opportunities:
For information, E-mail wine@wineloverspage.com