They say the world is running out of cork, a sustainable, renewable resource. That's why so many wines are now stopped with synthetic cork, plastic, and screw tops. Personally, I'm a skeptic, and I believe the switch in capping material has more to do with financial factors.
Synthetic corks are harder to unscrew because they can slip inside the neck of the bottle. This can be frustrating to a weakling like me who's trying to use a dollar store corkscrew. I've been on the hunt for the perfect cork screw for the last couple of years. I got two this past birthday - a fantastic hand held unit from B&K and my husband got me one of those counter top varieties.
Once I figured out how to use the counter top corkscrew, it works pretty slick. It also came with a razor sharp shrink wrap cutter. I find that in recent years fewer and fewer wines come with the little pull tab to remove the shrink cap. Perhaps the world is running out of pull tab trees as well. Or perhaps its a cost-cutting measure.
I opened a bottle of wine with no pull tab the other night. I gave a twist on my cap slitter and the top came off in my hand just as slick as could be... but... There was no cork in the bottle!! What the heck??!!? A closer look made me realize I'd just razed off the top of a metal screw cap. Now that's a sharp cutter - and not-so-sharp bartender.