The findings of a new survey showing that most wine drinkers prefer cork closures to any other format are being disputed by the trade. A Portuguese Cork Association survey published this week showed that 75% of wine consumers in the UK, Australia and the US preferred natural cork. But retailers immediately rubbished the survey, claiming that consumers do not even care what is in the top of their bottles. Sainsbury wine director Allan Cheesman said: "They don't mind what they have so long as it works." Safeway wine buyer Tim Ranscombe said: "We are still trying to understand how consumers feel on the issue. "Preserving quality is the number one priority and we will look at all types of closures including corks, synthetics and screwcaps." An Asda spokesman added: "We use all three types. Consumers seem happy with them and we are governed by what they want." The buyers' comments signal the likelihood of a continuation of the growing trend for more screwcaps. The caps, which have traditionally been associated with poor quality wines, continue to be mainly used on low priced bottles but a move to introduce them onto higher quality styles is now gathering momentum. Cheesman said: "It is inevitable that we will see more good quality wines with screwcaps, particularly from the southern hemisphere." Portuguese Cork Association director Francisco de Brito Evangelista was standing by the findings of his survey and claiming a moral victory over new synthetic closures. But Simon Waller, European vice president of leading synthetic closures manufacture Supreme Corq, said: "The cork industry is suggesting there is more interest in closures than there really is." {{DRINKS }}