Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Glass cork

Came across my first glass cork when I opened a bottle of Cusumano Nero D'Avola, a Sicilian red.

Wasn't expecting to see this and had in fact not even heard of the practice.

It was easy to recork the bottle and when I reopened it, it gave a nice 'pop' sound, proof it was doing a fine job. I've set it aside to reseal others.

The glass cork seemed a better alternative than the composite or synthetic corks that are showing up more frequently in my bottles these days.

According to the Reluctant Gourmet, there are a few other advantages of glass corks.

Since cork is an agricultural product--the thick, spongy bark taken from a living tree--there are some down sides to its use.  For one, sometimes the phenols present in cork can react with the wine, causing cork taint.  Wines that are "corked."  In short, mold forms and contaminates the wine. Sometimes the wine can smell or taste like mildew, but other times, the wine just might taste a little. "off."  Regardless, anywhere from 5-10% of wines sealed with natural cork can end up with cork taint.

Since the Vino Seal is made of smooth glass, there is no chance of its interacting with the wine in any way.  The seal part of the Vino Seal is achieved with a small O-ring under the lip of the stopper.  This creates a hermetic, or air-tight, seal.
Another plus of the Vino Seal is that it is reusable.  If for some reason you don't finish your bottle of wine, just reinsert the stopper into the bottle.  The O-ring again creates the seal, and you can finish your bottle the next day.  You can't do that with natural or synthetic corks, because to pull a cork, you have to basically drill a hole all the way through it with your cork screw.

Wines that are sealed with almost any closure other than natural cork do not have to be stored on their sides.  Natural cork needs to be kept moist to maintain the tight seal.  Store your wine upright for too long, and the cork dries out, shrinks and then there goes your seal.  While this is a plus for the Vino Seal, it can also be a minus.  The foil that covers the seal and the neck of the bottle helps to maintain the air-tight seal. So, when unopened, you can store the wine either lying down or upright, but once you open the bottle, it is best to keep it upright to prevent any minor leaking.

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