Artisan Wine Review
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Bottle Closures

Natural Cork
- The leading choice worldwide for use with age-worthy wines.   Improved production techniques have significantly reduced the problem of cork taint (TCA).
Positives: Traditional closure has the most romantic appeal to wine buying consumers.
Agglomerate Cork - Made from cork granules and dust bonded together by food-grade glue.
Good for short term storage (1 - 3 years)

Positives: Low cost, little consumer resistance.
Double Disk Corks - A high-quality, agglomerate cork is sandwiched between two natural cork disk ends.
Good for mid-term storage (3 - 7 years)

Positives: Moderate cost, better consumer acceptance.
Synthetic Cork - Made from plastic compounds designed to give the seal and "pop" of natural cork, but without incurring any chance of cork taint.   Technological improvements have produced a better fit.   This has helped overcome earlier difficulties in removal and cork reinsertion by consumers.
Positives: Low cost, available in a wide range of colors.

Crown Caps - Traditional bottle caps do a good job of sealing the wine bottle while eliminating any chance of cork taint.   Packaging designers must still do some work to overcome the "cheap product" image associated with this bottle closure in the mind of consumers.
Low cost.

Stelvin Closures
- Screw caps as they are better known, are made from aluminum and form a tighter seal than cork. While a major marketing push several years ago has led to consumer acceptance, especially for wines at the lower price points, there is still work to do in this area.   Also of concern are the studies under way to determine if the tight seal of the Stelvin closure can lead to the problem of "reduction" in wines that are subjected to long term aging.
Positives: Low cost, versatile packaging options, no cork taint.

Vino-Seal - An elegant glass bottle stopper with an inert, silicon o-ring that creates a hermetic seal to prevent oxidation and cork taint.
Positives: Great look, with enthusiastic consumer acceptance.

Zork - A combination closure with a pull off capsule.   Removal of the capsule by pulling the ingenious tear off strip will reveal a reusable, synthetic T-cork similar to the type of closure one would see on a bottle of sherry, or a cordial such as Grand Mariner.
Positives: Unusual look leads to consumer acceptance after use.
Guala Corks - Innovative, multifaceted, cork design has a synthetic body supported by a rigid frame.   The bottom section is covered in inert polypropylene.   These features do a fine job of aiding the person using a corkscrew in the removal of the Guala cork from its bottle.
Positives: High tech look and feel leads to initial consumer curiosity, followed by admiring acceptance after use.

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