Foil capsules

A wine bottle’s foil (or faux foil) cap is an almost-anachronism.

Today, the cap usually is an unnecessary obstacle to opening the bottle. It serves little purpose other than a branding opportunity for the maker and a chance for your wine server to show off.

Foil caps once had purpose. Long, long ago wine bottles dwelled in dark, dank cellars where vermin roamed, vermin who loved to nibble wood—including cork. Foil capsules kept pesky pests at bay.

Today, it is unlikely your wine fridge is over-run with ravenous cork-crunchers. Your home exterminator probably keeps your wine rack free of pillaging pests, too. So, why misusage of resources on this cap thing-a-ma-jig?

Sadly, in today’s world, larceny launches the labor. The main purpose of foil caps today is to foil folks who steal good wine and replace it with plonk. Foil cap intact, less likely bottle was violated. Makes sense for high end stuff, but are you really worried someone replaced your $12 wine with $7 wine? Why go to such trouble? It is like hand-forging a $5 bill.

Still, cap remains. Just pull it off. Nowadays, it often is not even foil, but cheap plastic that easily surrenders. Corkscrew blade handles everything else.

Restaurant servers feel compelled to to run a blade around the top of the bottle, just under the lip, allowing them to pull off the small top part of the capsule, access the cork, and expect a higher tip. I ask them to cease the charade and remove the entire cap. Jeez, people. The point is to pour wine.

Tasting notes:

• Pedernales Cellars Texas Viognier 2014: Peach, apricot, honeysuckle, orange blossom, vivid nose—classic viognier. Another Pedernales success. $14

• Francis Coppola Black Label Claret 2013. Plum, dark red fruits, creamy; wire cage prevents fraud. $17

• Michael David Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. Dark brooding color, big oak, big black fruit, black cherry, blackberry, boysenberry, pomegranate, smoky oak. Freaky good. $19

• E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge (Red) 2010: Intense smoky dark cherry, raspberry, olive, plum, pinch of pepper. For serious red wine drinkers, seriously good. $19

Last round: Wine may not solve your problems, but neither will milk or water.