Beginner's guide to wine closure

5 min read

If you have bought wine before, chances are you didn't even consider closing the wine that was paired with the bottle. Although it seems like closing for a bottle of wine is meaningless, it can actually make a significant difference in several ways. So it is important for you to consider all options before buying your next bottle. Because there are pros and cons to each type of wine closure, understanding everything you need to know about wine closure will allow you to make informed and knowledgeable purchasing decisions.

Beginner's guide to wine closure

How Wine Closures Can Affect Wine

Before learning the different types of wine closures, you must first know more about how different wine closures can affect wine. While wine closures are designed to be neutral and without a distinct aroma, they can actually change the aroma of the wine to a certain degree. Therefore it is important to choose the right type of closure.

For example, natural cork can have a slight smell of rotten wood or wet cardboard, which can change the aroma of grapes. The technical cork is glued together and can create chemical scents if you are very sensitive to odors.

As for synthetic corks, they are made with elements that use petroleum, which means that the cork can have an almost invisible gas-like odor. This smell can be very noticeable with lighter red and white wines.

Beginner's guide to wine closure

Because almost every type of cork will add flavor to the wine, it is highly recommended that you try each type of cork to determine what you like. When considering the smell of petroleum that can come with synthetic cork, it is important to note that many people will not even notice the smell. On the other hand, some people will find the smell too strong to like. The only way you can be sure of your preferences is to sample every option available to you.

Different grapes are also used with different grapes depending on how they affect aging of the grapes. To understand how cork can affect aging, keep in mind that the main accelerator of wine aging is oxygen. Different corks affect the exchange rate of oxygen through closure. The amount of oxygen that reaches the wine can change the color of the wine, the aroma of the wine, and the taste of the wine. For example, large amounts of oxygen that reach the wine can cause browning beginning, which is very similar to what happens when you cut an apple and don't eat it for 20 minutes. The inside of the apple will start browning because of the oxidizing effect.

Beginner's guide to wine closure

As for the aroma, the right amount of oxygen reaching the wine can really be good for the aroma of wine. However, too much oxygen will eventually cause oxidation, which leads to a calmer and more even aroma. When considering wine gargling, the right amount of oxygen reaching the wine can soften the wine, which enhances the taste.

Because of how oxygen affects wine, wine producers try to ensure that the wine you open after purchasing tastes wherever possible. Many winemakers will choose cork based on when they think wine will be bought. If they want the wine to peak in six months, they can choose the type of cork that allows a little more oxygen. If they want the wine to peak two years after release, they will choose a cork that hardly allows any oxygen.

Natural Cork

Beginner's guide to wine closure

Natural cork stopper is the most commonly used stopper. Because this is the original type of cork that was used to close wine bottles centuries ago, it is valued by puritans who want their wine exactly as it did hundreds of years ago. Nearly 80 percent of wine bottles are corked with this type of cork, which is made from cork tree bark. The unique aspect of this type of cork is that the tree it makes must be at least 25 years old before the bark can be harvested effectively.

The best aspect of using natural cork is that it offers ideal breathing. If you want your wine to age even when the cork is plugged into the bottle, this type of closure allows a little air, which can help the aging process. This is also the perfect closing type for anyone who enjoys pork cork when opening a bottle of wine. The main problem with this type of closure is that you will need a bottle opener to open it.

Technical Cork

Beginner's guide to wine closure

Corks are technically made with natural cork discs. The purpose of this cork design is to correctly replicate the taste and appearance of a standard cork. One important benefit of using this closure is that you can choose how much breathing you want. Some of these corks will offer a high rate of breathing while others barely breathe air. This type of closure is good if you want to avoid TCA, which is the compound responsible for adding unwanted aromas to the wine. While natural cork is susceptible to TCA, technical cork is considered TCA free.

If you want a cork that does not have a negative impact on cork forests and native wildlife in it, this will work for you. This cork can also be recycled. One potential problem with some of these corks is that the low-end technical cork can sometimes be affected by TCA, which means you need to look for high-end cork specifically. The pieces that make up this cork are glued together, which can be very visible to anyone who is sensitive to the smell of glue. There are also times when cork is difficult to put back in the bottle.

Synthetic cork

Beginner's guide to wine closure

Synthetic cork is entirely man-made and is made from two different materials, which include polyethylene materials for exterior leather and renewable fibers for interior foams. When you buy a bottle of wine that is covered with synthetic cork, you can be sure that the cork breath will be consistent, which does not apply to most other types of closures. A good aspect of this type of cork is that it can be sold at varying prices because of the large number of materials that can be used in its manufacture.

This cork can also be printed and can be produced in a variety of different colors, the latter can make a bottle of wine that is truly unique. When you buy a bottle of wine that is equipped with one of these corks, keep in mind that the cork can be tapered, which makes it easy to put it back in the bottle. One disadvantage of using synthetic cork is that polyethylene can add a little aroma to wine, which can affect the natural aroma of wine.

Close the screw

Beginner's guide to wine closure

If you don't want to deal with the potential frustration that comes with opening and closing a wine bottle that is covered with cork, you should consider choosing wine that comes with a screw cap. Aluminum screw caps are commonly used by winemakers based in New Zealand and Australia. This hat is usually paired with premium red and white wine. The opening of the bottle is covered with a layer like foam, which helps keep oxygen out. The main benefit of using this type of closure is that it is easy to open and close. You also don't need to worry about TCA being introduced to wine, which ensures that the true aroma of wine remains intact.

When using a screw cap, it will not deteriorate for a long time, which is a problem that affects natural cork. If you want to age red or white wine, this is the perfect closing for you. The main problem with using screws is the possibility that the strong aroma of wine decreases with time. Even though the natural scent is still there, the aroma won't be that strong.

Zork

Beginner's guide to wine closure

This is a very different plug that is usually used in Australia and can erupt as soon as you peel off the protective covering. Zork closure is synthetic and has a very long shelf life because it is welded with foil. When using this type of cork, you will find that it is easy to open and does not change the aroma of wine. However, this closure is probably the most expensive type, which means that the wine paired with this closure will be more expensive.

Vinolok

Beginner's guide to wine closure

This is a glass sealer that is equipped with a plastic o-ring and is usually used with a flute-shaped bottle. The use of this type of closure will close the bottle tightly, which reduces the possibility of oxidation. If you want to effectively maintain the original aroma of your wine, this is a good stop to use. The main problem with this closure is that it needs to be manually put into the bottle, which adds to the cost.

Now that you are aware of the many types of wine closures and how they can affect your wine, you should be able to choose the closure that best suits your preferences.

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