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Screw Caps and Fruit Wines: Wine Wizard

Cap recycling QCan I reuse bottles with screw on caps for bottling wine? Jim Neumeistervia email AWhat you describe, reusing commercial screwcap wine bottles for subsequent bottlings, is something no commercial winery would ever do. Once the cap is twisted off and the threads detach (the “clicking” sound heard instead of the “pop” of a cork), the safety and integrity of that seal are forever compromised and there’s no way to guarantee a bottle would reach its destination with a loose cap still attached. Though the cap will feel like it has screwed back on tight (and probably is), there is still a slight chance that microbes and oxygen could make ingress and spoil the bottle, which is something that all wineries — commercial or not — try to avoid. However, in the spirit of recycling, saving money or just to get that last half-case of overflow into some kind of bottle, it is possible for home winemakers to use non-new or non-traditional containers for final bottling. Reusing containers harks back to the thousands of years of winemaking history, namely