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Transcript: Episode 8: The Cork Soakers

- [Man] On this episode of cork soakers.


- I will turn TCA into a good buzz.


- THC


- They call that disaster pants.


- Well, hello there. Welcome to the eighth installment of Cellar Rats into Seller Rats. I'm Jesse Inman.


- I'm Aaron Inman. And I'd like to rule the world.


- Megalomaniac much? Today we're gonna talk about closures.


- Jesse has none in his life.


- But I do like closures.


- And he talks about it a lot. If you've watched all of our previous seven episodes, you've noticed that Jesse likes to go into a little bit of detail on closures, corks, screw caps on every single episode. Well today, we're gonna go in a little more in depth.


- Let's go!


- So today's concept is simple. We're gonna try three wines. Each of them has a different closure. We're gonna do a screw cap. We're gonna do a glass stopper, and we're gonna do a traditional cork.


- We're also gonna talk about the alternative closures to the ones we're tasting. There is a lot of closures, we're gonna cover most of them. They all have their pluses and minuses.


- And to be honest, there's a lot of misconceptions about closures in wine. Because when I was younger, I used to think that high quality wine had to come in a cork, a traditional cork. And I think we've since dispelled that, especially since Lucky Rock uses, screw cap.


- Primarily screw cap. That's right.


- So we're gonna kick off this tasting and talk on closures with a Provence Rose from Gerard Croissant.


- Sacre bleu!


- [Jesse] When I saw Aaron taking this out earlier, it made me think they can be very hard to take off at first. I'm actually missing part of my tooth cause I tried to use my tooth and I would not recommend that.


- That's cause we're from Siskiyou County.


- And so you also might notice this has cellophane. This holds the glass stopper in. So glass stoppers typically don't allow any oxygen. Although they're only as good as the ovary,


- similar to people.


- They can fail, they can be misaligned or they can have cracks in them and-


- They call that disaster pants.


- Disaster pants. And so that'll just hyper age your wine, it'll brown early, it'll lose all its fruit, but they click in and you can keep them for vinegar bottles, or...


- They're aesthetically kind of cool.


- Yeah, they're kinda cool.


- They're more popular in Europe than they are in the States. You see it in Germany, Austria, places like that. There's not a lot of wineries doing it here. It's kind of a novelty.


- There's pros and cons. And you'll normally only see them in a white wine because they wanna maintain freshness there's, to the best of my knowledge, less oxygen exposure. But again, only as good as the O-ring.


- Yeah, only about 90, 95% of wines are meant to be consumed straight away. It's really only that 5% that needs longterm aging.


- Yeah.


- And you're gonna want a little bit more oxygen to get into your wine. And this will probably allow.


- Yeah, and this is, I mean, it's branding. It looks good. Use it.


- As you saw in our last episode, Post Malone was doing it. So you know it's cool.


- Dope. So when it comes to the branding of this bottle, I mean, I'd pick it up. If I was in the shop, I especially pick it up, not to be sexist, but if I was a woman.


- For my lady!


- Yeah, it's got a rose on the bottom, which is kinda cool.


- It got a rose right there.


- $15,000 at minimum for your own mold. If you wanna have a specialty mold made.


- Yeah, Jesse hit it on the head. They're not really marketing to us. So we're not really the demographic they're shooting for, but yeah, it's a clean package. So for tasting number two, we are going to try a wine that is from a cork. And there's several different types of cork. When you say cork, Jesse's gonna go a little bit more into that. Today we're tasting Lotis, our friend, Lindsey Otis' new release wine Grenache. It's lovely.


- It's not an expensive wine. It's not inexpensive wine, but I think it's meant to be drank a little earlier than some bigger wines. And so she's chosen to put a one plus one or a conglomerated cork in it. It's less expensive because you're able to take all the pieces from the cork bark, that you're not gonna use, and you can grind those up. You can basically sanitize them...


- And sterilize them.


- ...killing the mold that might be in there, and then you glue them back together. And then what they do is they put a disc of natural solid cork on the top and bottom, cause that lowers the incidence of corked wine as well. And corked wine is basically just cork, that has a mold. A lot of people think it's cork, like something's wrong with the cork. There is, but it's not, it's not aesthetic. It's inside the cork. There's a small beast of a mold, that'll take chlorine and turn it into TCA, trichloroanisole, and just one part per billion will ruin your wine.


- Kind like I will turn TCA into a good buzz. So for tasting and talk, number three, we're gonna focus on the screw cap, and we're gonna taste a wine from Willamette Valley, from Salem vineyards. It's a very tasty pinot Noir up there in Lana Valley Oregon.


- Tasty pioneer, huh?


- So screw caps, the adoption curve of screw caps are this, they tried to introduce them in the eighties. People didn't like it. They were like cheap wine, doesn't make any sense, wine's supposed to have a cork.


- Yeah.


- Or being a Carlos Rossi jug. The Australian said, hold up, we're gonna keep rocking this.


- Good technology, we're all in.


- And eventually, you know, fast forward to now, you've got almost all New Zealand wines, almost all minus a few like Grange, and super high end Australian wines are, are under screw cap. And they're totally acceptable. In the U S we've really accepted them more on the white wine and like quick to drink reds, a little less on the high end. The Salem was actually, it's like a $50,000 bottle of drink.


- Yeah, that's what we picked this one because, we were like, hey, what's a brand is producing a screw cap, that's higher end. What does it taste like? Is it any different than a cork per se. To get a little technical, the Australians created what's called BVS. This is the finish on it, the screw cap part. But inside, there's also filaments. You'll always notice there's a white or silver disc inside. That white or silver disc allows more or less oxygen in. And so, if you have a stinky fermentation, it's going to reduce. You gotta be very careful putting one of these in your screw cap because it lets almost no oxygen in. And no oxygen means you wanna reduce even further and start to smell like onions and garlic.


- And that's one of the, the negatives of a screw cap, cause it can have what's called reduction. Basically, it's a little bit of a stinky aroma that does blow off. If you're a consumer out there and you get a stinky wine, sometimes just give it a few, 10, 15 minutes. A lot of that will blow off, you know, all that ease of the screw cap, that's one of the reasons we pick it at Lucky Rock, as we wanted you to be able to open that thing on your hike, on your picnic, at home, it ease is awesome, but you do have to watch that reduction of it.


- Yeah. And you have to be careful in your wine making. When you're bottling, you have to usually put either argon or nitrogen in the top. What we do with Lucky Rock is we put a liquid nitrogen drop. So you'll see sometimes in our social media, you'll see I'll post pictures of it looks like dry, dry ice or something coming out of the top of the bottle, and that's to keep the oxygen out, When you put the cap on, cause you cannot do a vacuum like you would with a seal.


- I did a little nitrogen drip before this episode. So for us, the biggest thing I get to reiterate is the ease. It's so easy to just take that off and access your wine. You don't have to deal with any TCA. That's also a major part of it that you do run that with cork a little bit.


- Yeah. They're, the failure rate on a cork, versus a screw cap is way higher.


- And so, to reiterate, screw cap, easy to open, no TCA, maybe a little bit of reduction, gotta watch your wine making, certain varietals are a little more reductive than others. Maybe not as many high end people in the U S are using them on their wines. But I think that, that trend is going away as consumers get more familiar with them. As people start to find out the benefits of them, and thus don't necessarily put us on the poster for screw caps. We think they're great. They're a good tool, but you know, pork is cool too.


- Yeah.


- So today we mainly talked about three different types of enclosures, wine enclosures. We've talked about cork and its different forms. We've talked about screw caps, and it's different liners. We talked about glass stoppers. Now there's a few other types of alternative closures, that Jesse's gonna tell us a little bit more.


- Yeah. I just bought this one yesterday from a friend and they put it, they put a counter top on it. You could very easily put a champagne cork in it, which is basically a conglomerate cork, it's a little bit bigger, anything to stand a little bit more pressure. You put a champagne cork in, it looks like I'm gonna cork, pinched right here. So that is what actually that is.


- It actually shrinks in about 12 millimeters. It's pretty good to hold back the pressure, and this glass is actually thick, so it can hold all that pressure.


- It's kind of synthetic plastic corks,


- Yeah, really careful with synthetic corks, because they can be very forces that's holding them, then that means lots of oxygen, lots of oxygen means your wine don't age faster. So today we talked about wine enclosures, maybe a little bit of a dry topic, but I think we spice it up a little.


- Or maybe we didn't. Thank you very much for joining us.


- See you on the next episode.