Don't judge a wine by its closure. Customers might consider them cheap, but screwtop wines can be as good or better than corked wines, said The Wine Guy owner Craig Decker. Of course, sometimes the choice is more emotional.

Don't judge a wine by its closure.

Customers might consider them cheap, but screwtop wines can be as good or better than corked wines, said The Wine Guy owner Craig Decker. Of course, sometimes the choice is more emotional.

"Personally, I like the romance of pulling a cork out of a bottle," Decker said. "But I think screwcaps are one of those things that are perceived incorrectly."

The "cheap" perception is so difficult to overcome that some producers have tried and given up on screwcaps. The closure, known as a Stelvin after the company that produces it, is more common on imported bottles, especially from Australia and New Zealand, Decker said.

There hasn't been enough research to determine if cap material affects wine's aging. But screwtops do eliminate the chance of a wine being "corked," something that happens to 1 to 3 percent of bottles when the cork and the wine react to leave the vino lifeless and off-taste.

It's something Decker's servers have to watch out for, passing each bottle below the nose to do a quick check. And they'll have even more bottles to check starting tomorrow, when The Wine Guy's Hilliard location is slated to open.

The Wine Guy Bistro will have a more upscale atmosphere than his other shops, with white tablecloths and a pasta-heavy menu. Also expect to see a Wine Guy location spring up in Dublin in about a month, Grandview in November and Downtown in about a year.

The screwtop bottles below are Decker's favorites and are available at all of his locations.


Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc (2008)

Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Cost: $20

Flavors: Well-balanced and medium-bodied, with passion fruit and citrus tastes

Pairs well with: Salad, seafood, veggie dishes

Craig Decker's advice: "A sauvignon blanc from New Zealand is different - there's a huge grapefruit kind of a taste and fragrance."


Seghesio Rockpile zinfandel (2007)

Region: Sonoma County, California

Cost: $38

Flavors: Decadent blackberries, cherries and spice

Pairs well with: Hearty meats that can stand up to this full-bodied wine

Craig Decker's advice: "It's a good, old-vine zin - with a screwcap."


Four Vines Naked chardonnay (2008)

Region: Santa Barbara, California

Cost: $12

Flavors: Crisp apple, white peach and citrusy minerality on the finish

Pairs well with: Poultry dishes, grilled fish or oysters

Craig Decker's advice: "The reason they call it 'naked' is because it's unoaked."