I saw an article on WineBusiness.com that peaked my interest. The article is about a new screw-cap type cork that can allow variable amounts of air in. It was developed by a group at UC Davis that entered into the annual Big Bang! Business Plan Competition at the UC Davis. Here is a quote from the article:
"The team's design, a "breathing screw cap," has small vent holes and is fitted with a liner made of alternating layers of thin metal and a porous polymer. The liner can be customized to allow optimal oxidation for specific varietals, something that is impossible with bark corks. A patent is pending for the design."
The full article is listed here: http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/...
This brings up the age old question of new closure types ... will the market accept it?
New High Tech Cork ...
- Reply by Sung, May 23, 2008.
I think the market might accept this type of new screw cap. We've already started to see those ploymer corks on new world bottles and I don't know that those plastic corks are even able to do this type of oxidation. I think if it's good for the wine, we will start seeing more and more bottles with the new screw cap as long as they can do it affordably.
- Reply by John Andrews, May 23, 2008.
According to the article states the cost for the new caps for 20 cents. About 10 cents less than the price of a cork and about 5 cents more than the price of regular screw cap or synthetic cork. So the pricing seems to be inline.
- Reply by Mark Angelillo, May 23, 2008.
Pretty cool new closure design. If the optimal oxidation by varietal thing is correct it could mean great things for the wine aging in the bottle -- especially for collectors.
- Reply by Philip James, May 26, 2008.
John - yeah, thats interesting. I saw there was some $15k prize for this, so its glad to see a contest spur innovation.
My biggest concern is that I dont think people know how much porosity is actually required. When you are talking of aging a wine for 30 years I just dont think anyone's been exact enough in measuring oxygen transfer rates, so i wonder if all of these semi-porous synthetic designs will need to be tested by trial and error, and then by 2040 we'll have an optimal design nailed down.