In the elaboration of a wine there are many factors to take into account that will directly affect the quality and character of the final product. There are factors specific to each type of wine that give it its own personality, such as the type of grape used in its production; the region where these grapes are grown and the climate and soil characteristics that this entails; the agricultural practices characteristic of each area or the specific production and maturing procedures used by each winery: ageing times, types of barrels, control of the atmosphere during bo]ling, etc.
The variables to bear in mind when making a wine are very numerous. And so, over time, this process has become a meticulous and complex task. So much so that today all the necessary efforts are dedicated to taking care of even the smallest details, including those that might seem to be insignificants. This is the case, for example, with the choice of a stopper for wine bo]les. Next, we will look at the influence that has the stopper in the development and final quality of a wine, what types of stoppers currently exist on the market and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Cork has been, since ancient times, the material that has proven to be most suitable for the correct conservation of wine. The characteristics of cork itself make it almost perfect for this purpose: It is a light, elastic and compressible material.
It is practically impermeable to the transfer of liquids and gases, although it allows a microoxygenation of the wine, which is interesting for aged wines.
It provides a great adhesion to glass, facilitating a good sealing of the bo]le.
It is an inert material. This prevents it from degrading through organic processes that lead to putrefaction. Thanks to this, the wine can be isolated from the microorganisms existing on the outside of the bo]le.
But one of the problems with cork is TCA, which is what causes the well-known “cork smell.”
Since the end of 19th century, new stoppers are introduced into the world of wine:
- Synthetic stoppers: Closure increasingly used for young wines and fast consumption (one year since being bo]led).
- Screw stoppers: Very li]le used in Spain, but widely used in European and American countries. Used for young wines and fast consumption (one year since being bo]led).
- Glass stoppers (the least successful)