Randall Grahm on screwcaps

I don't often give space here to unedited comments from wine producers, but Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon in California is truly an exception in almost every way. His wine names, labels, packaging and news[?]letters [aka streams of consciousness] have injected more fun into the self-conscious world of wine than all other wine producers put together, so I thought you'd enjoy this:

Dear Interested Party,

There has been a lot of controversy of late regarding the various closure systems employed to seal a bottle of wine. A very progressive, albeit slightly eccentric medium-sized winery located in Santa Cruz recently announced their intention to bottle a substantial percentage of the wine that they produce, using the Stelvin closure system (or screw cap). The Portuguese Cork Association [APCOR] has in numerous recent print advertisements invited interested parties to step up and debate the merits of the various closure systems. While we at Bonny Doon Vineyard personally believe that their invitation to enjoin the debate is precipitated by the fact that they currently have three and a half legs in the tar pit, we are nevertheless quite willing to offer a spirited contribution to the ongoing discussion.

With that in mind, we present herein the Bonny Doon Vineyard Top 10 Reasons for Using Screwcaps:


We would love to hear your reasons. Please send your thoughts to John Locke at john@bonnydoonvineyard.com.


Randall Grahm

Incidentally, the dominant British supermarket chain Tesco who have plunged into screwcaps for their own-label wines with vigour, report that sales are going well. They launched a range of 30 wines in screwcaps in the spring and sold 1.5 million bottles in the first 10 weeks. They point out that 'this equates to a greater proportion of our sales than rosé wines for the same period'. Though this is perhaps faintish praise; they offer just 19 rosé wines. Nevertheless, they claim to have conducted 'independent in-store surveys' which 'showed that 60 per cent of respondents thought that screwcaps were a good idea for wine, and 65 per cent said they would buy a wine sealed with one.'

10. Never pay corkage fees again.
9. When celebrating significant occasions with one's colleagues (parole, commutation of sentence), often difficult to locate a corkscrew.
8. 'Reverse' chic is just so in.
7. Can begin conversational gambit with waitress with line, 'Would you, er, unscrew my bottle?'
6. Perfect beverage for clothing optional events.
5. Will never fall for the old 'left-handed' corkscrew gag again.
4. Hard to find corkscrews down by the railroad tracks
3. Extremely humorous back-label can be pressed into service at occasional lulls in the conversation.
2. You can no longer be accused of being a cork sniffer.
1. You will never again experience the heartbreak of 2,4,6-TCAoriasis.