Hey Nose... you now have another Ear. Love how you write!
Nancy, Washington DC
I know air is the enemy of wine, and corks can lose the seal. But polymer stoppers are the pits, harder to pull and practically impossible to unwind from corkscrews. Why don't vintners just go to screw tops, which are reliable and easy to remove?
It's snob appeal, known by MBA's as marketing. There are good wines being sold now with metal and plastic seals, but it'll never happen with high-end ones. Example: the restaurants would never go for it. Picture the waiter bringing your Margaux to the table and instead of the nice little pop of cork there's a scrrrrrk of metal unscrewed. And who'd sniff an aluminum cap? No, corks will never go away. Now the plastic plugs, I could suggest to vintners another place for 'em.
Here's another question from a reader which I will pass along (with reservations) to the Doc:
I'm reading a book, Spice, the History of a Temptation, by Jack Turner, in which there are numerous references to the Romans spicing their wine. He says there is a reference to Pliny's Natural History to a recipe for cinnamon-spiced wine. He also cites a "honey-spiced wine" and a "spiced wine surprise" but doesn't give the recipe for it. Also, Turner writes that the Romans favorite wine was "Falernian."
John, Santa Cruz