Stoppers and other closures for bottles
The rapid development of cork as the main raw material used to close wine bottles (wine corks) occurred in the eighteenth century. At that time, the outstanding winemaker and respected monk Dom Perignon replaced the previously used wooden peg in favor of cork corks. The first mushroom cork was made during this period, which to this day is a universal closure for sparkling wines.
Traffic jams are booming, used for any type of alcohol. Depending on the type and quality of cork used:
– lower quality corks and short corks for beer and vodka;
– corks of medium quality and length for table wines, regional wines;
– top quality corks, long, without any loss (once called velvety), to the highest quality brand wines;
The cork bloom is the only one, the best closure lasted until the 20th century. The cork hegemony has been broken. Other types of bottle closures are developing rapidly. Aluminum closures are introduced, caps, synthetic stoppers.
Currently, we can distinguish closures:
– natural wine corks (otherwise known as solid corks) – most wines in the world are closed with natural corks, it is the best and most expensive cork closure. Such corks are cut from the bark of the cork oak in one piece. Such a cork meets all the requirements for a perfect closure for wine. It is intended for brand wines intended for longer aging.
– agglomerated wine corks - the cheapest type of cork, made of leftovers from the production of natural corks and other cork materials, it is nothing but small cork granules, which are glued with special glue and pressed (this kind of plywood). It is a low quality cork, which is often the cause of wine defects. However, due to its price, its production is constantly growing every year. Agglomerated corks are intended for wines ready for consumption, Such corks are rarely used for long-term storage of outstanding wines. Agglomerated traffic jams due to their low price, they are most often used for home wines. House wine corked with such a cork can be stored until 3-4 years.
– layered wine corks - it is an intermediate form between agglomerated and solid cork (intermediate in terms of quality and price). It is there, that layers are glued to the agglomerated cork 1 or two of solid cork. Layers can be stuck on one side as well as on both sides. If the solid layers are stuck on only one side, then, when corking the wine, we must remember, to direct the part of the cork with solid circles towards the inside of the bottle. House wine corked with such a cork can be stored until 4-6 years.
– synthetic wine corks - they arouse the greatest controversy among winemakers. They were born in America where they are widely used. Currently, their production is constantly growing and gaining more and more popularity. They perfectly protect the wine, however, on the other hand, their tightness causes, that the wine does not mature during aging. Therefore, this type of cork is used for both white and table wines, for wines that are intended for quick consumption. Synthetic mushroom corks are very popular as a closure for cheaper sparkling wines. In home winemaking, we can also try synthetic plugs. Their biggest advantage will be this, that the corked wine will not start to leak and the cork will not start to mold, wines can be stored for many years.
– aluminum caps - increasingly used in winemaking. They guarantee almost hermetic closure, they do not affect the taste of the wine, wine so closed can be quickly opened without any additional "tools". For wines in traditional 750ml bottles and approx, The caps are used only in table wines. However, this type of closure is widely used for wines sold in larger bottles, e.g.: 2,5 i 5 liter.
– capsules - it is the cheapest bottle closure. The bottle caps did not gain popularity as a closure for wine, while some champagnes that mature before selling them are closed with caps, and only before they are put up for sale, the cap is replaced with a mushroom stopper.
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