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Cork underperforming, say IWSC judges

Published:  23 July, 2008

Judges at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) are three times more likely to demand another sample bottle if entries are sealed under natural cork rather than screwcap.

More than one in 12 bottles were showing badly under a cork closure at this year's competition, and the IWSC said: "Most problems with cork were, unsuprisingly, TCA related."

Fewer than 2% of entries sealed under plastic cork needed a second bottle to be called for, outperforming screwcaps.

Screwcap usage continues to be favoured in the southern hemisphere, with more than 40% of entries sealed in this way, compared with only 3.8% of entries from the northern hemisphere.

The IWSC reported that screwcaps were mainly used by New Zealand and Australia, while South Africa and South American wine-producing countries were "not far from the European norms".

This is the first year the IWSC has recorded the use of closures and replacement requests from judges.