Cork vs. screw cap with Franz Haas

Wineries, no matter how long they are already existing, are always trying to improve themselves  . Obviously today this is much easier than for example 50 years ago thanks to the evolution of technology and science. What we notice today is that there are many vineyards testing on replacing the classic cork by a screw cap as closure of their bottles. The biggest problem in this change is not the producers who don’t want to make the change (as the screw cap will give less bottles that are corked or that are gone bad), but rather the miss-interpretation of the consumers who have a wrong idea of the screw cap.

Many people think that wines that have a screw cap are of inferior quality to the wines that have the traditional cork or that wines with a screw caps are the low budget ‘chateau migraine’ wines 🙂  Well nothing of the above is true.  In fact a good quality screw cap will preserve the wine better than the classic cork and let less air get in touch with the wine (or get in the bottle when closed)?  Did you know that in New Zealand they don’t use regular corks anymore, but only screw caps?

A few weeks ago the winery of Franz Haas invited some sommeliers to show and experience themselves the effect the 2 types of bottle caps have on the aging of wine. Basically we were served the same wine (aged in the same conditions), but one bottle with classic cork and the other bottle with a screw cap and this this from several vintages and both white and red wines . During this tasting we did the comparison from the Franz Haas Manna (2016,2011, 2010)  and their Pinot Nero (2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006)

FYI I don’t have any shares of any screw cap or cork company 🙂 So I’m just saying how I (and I think I can speak for everybody at the table that night) experienced this.

Even before this tasting I didn’t have anything against screw caps as I already had many wines that had a screw cap that I liked very much… the tasting only made me like them more (not that I won’t drink bottle with corks anymore 😉 ). It was particularly interesting to be able to put the both wines next to each other and the difference  has been significant in many cases. What I noticed was that the wines that had the screw cap were much ‘fresher’ and ‘alive’ than the ones with the classic cork. Not that I’m saying the ‘classic cork’ ones weren’t nice, because they were…but my preference went to the ones with screw cap (with my personal favorite the 2008 Pinot Nero 🙂 ) and you could definitely notice the difference. True for some vintages the difference was smaller, but it was there.

The only message I can give is, please don’t let your pre-judgment stop you from buying a bottle of wine (or even ordering it at a restaurant) just because it has a screw cap as the only thing a producer want to achieve with this is getting the wine in the best conditions to you and how he made the wine (so with as few changes as possible)!!

Another beauty we had at the end of the evening was the Moscato Rosa!!

In case you have questions regarding the Franz Haas wines you for Belgium you can contact Vinivins for people outside of Belgium please contact Franz Haas directly.


P.S.: Thanks Danny for letting us have this tasting at Silo’s!!

Putting fun in factory visits

I know it has been a long since my last blogpost and no I did not stop with my blog 🙂 I just had to give priority to my very very soon to be born daughter (6-7weeks) or better to all the pre–birth stuff that have to get done + I do still have a day-time job that asks a lot of my attention the last few weeks… basically I had less or no time to write. I did have time to have a night out with friends 🙂 It was up to these friends to pick a restaurant and in that way ended up in restaurant Silo’s that only opened its doors on December first (2014)?! So it is/was still brand new! What I was surprised about was the amount of publicity and attention from magazines and bloggers it got…Until I found out that the 2 couples owning Silo’s used to be the former owner from the Michelin star awarded restaurant Folliez in Mechelen (and I did rememberDanny Vanderschueren talking about opening  a new restaurant (during Gala Diner of the Best Belgian Sommelier)) and a very well known caterer Daniel’s in Mechelen.  But instead of what you might think they decided to walk a different path serving well prepared classic dishes instead of the Michelin star type of food (so non gastronomical) for normal prices.

I didn’t know well how to describe the restaurant until I read Bruno Verspauwen’s article in DM magazine a while ago. He said Silo’s felt like being in a restaurant in the Meatpacking District in NYC… and it really is like that as the restaurant is located in a former industrial malt house like there are many industrial building in the meatpacking in NYC… FYI, Silo’s used to be a Malt house. Maybe picture below will help you picture it. Also this makes it the funnest factory visit ever 😉 😉 I know the picture is taken in the dark, but I’ll be going back in a few weeks and hopefully be able to take a picture in daylight…


Silo’s is a big restaurant that doesn’t feel big. Let me clarify, normally when eating big restaurants one always fears a the bad acoustics  and you almost have to shout to the other people at your table… fear that wasn’t needed as they’re acoustics better acoustics that in lots of small restaurants :-). I was told by Danny Van Landtsheer that this on of their main priorities before opening the restaurant at this location! Apparently the reason for the good acoustics is the good foundation of the old factory and the silo’s that are still present in the restaurant… anyhow if that is the real reason or not I enjoyed the fact I didn’t have to shout 😉




As mentioned before you can only find not sophisticated dishes on the menu, my eye immediately fell on the marrow-bone with mustard and herb crust 🙂 NJAMMY !! (only not too good for my cholesterol though, but you can’t undo done things I always say 🙂 :-))  As main course the pork-cheek Belgian beer stew just seemed like the perfect follower for the marrow-bones. for me at least, my lovely wife had the codfish with and our friends a succulent piece of deer filet and Duroc pork rib 🙂  Only thing left on the plats was its varnish everything, so I guess everybody liked it.

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What I encourage 100% and found great is that ALL wines from on the menu can also be taken per glass!!! I know that sometimes you drank a bottle(s) but you are still craving for 1 more glass and not another bottle from the same wine to go with you dessert or just because you feel like 1 more glass… at silo’s it is possible, 2 thumbs up!! FYI they also had some great Luis Pato wines (just saying)

Resuming my dinner: I liked it and will be back 🙂 Oh and 1 more thing, do take the classic ‘Dame Blanche’ dessert with home made vanilla ice-cream and really chocolate sauce 🙂

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P.S.: I hope you won’t have to wait too long on my next blogpost… but that’s out of my hands…

Restaurant Silo’s


Address: Leuvensesteenweg 350, 3190 Boortmeerbeeck – Belgium