Corks seal a wine’s fate: aging under natural vs synthetic closures

Most food items are best served in the freshest form possible. I can remember picking peaches on his ranch with my father, situated in Northern California, and eating them at the moment. What a flavor! However, the only exceptions to this are the numerous wines that require a bit of time to get their most delicious. Winemakers are aware of this, and they work to manage the process of aging, including their decisions on how they bottle their wine.

Oxygen and Aging

One of the aspects of aging is to deal with the reaction of acidic fruits with alcohol. This process lessens the sourness of the wine. However, it’s only necessary for wines with a high amount of tartness, those that come from cold climates.

The intricate process of oxidation is the second element of aging. When oxygen reacts with wine, it triggers a number of variations, eventually resulting in an aged wine that is characterized by the aroma of a nutty. This is a preferred taste for sherry types, but it can also harm the freshness of white wines.

However, the process of oxidation provides advantages in the process of reaching the undesirable endpoint. A lot of wines exhibit unpleasant aromas when they are in anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions. A tiny amount of oxygen will remove the trace thiol compounds that are that cause the smell of burnt eggs or rotten rubber. Oxidation compounds also react with the red anthocyanin compounds in the grapes to produce solid pigments in red wine.

The way that a bottle gets sealed directly impacts the amount of oxygen absorbed by the wine every year. It will directly affect the rate of aging and decide the time when the wine will be at its “best.”

Put a cork inside it?

Glass is a hermetic substance, which means that no oxygen can traverse it. However, every wine bottle closure allows, at the very least, a tiny amount of oxygen. The amount of oxygen is the most important factor in determining the effectiveness of a closure. A typical cork allows in approximately one milligram of oxygen every year. It may sound like a small amount, but within two to three years, the total amount could be sufficient to degrade the sulfites added by winemakers to safeguard the wine from the oxidation process.

Three main closure options include natural cork and technical cork. It is a budget counterpart made from cork particles, screw caps, along with synthetic corks. Natural cork closures were invented around 250 years ago, replacing the wooden plugs and oiled rags that were previously utilized to seal bottles. They opened up the possibility of the wine’s aging process. For a long time, natural corks were the only choice for high-quality wine. The cork is made from the bark of a tree and is harvested every seven years during the lifespan of a cork oak plant, Quercus suber. The cork cylindrical is cut from the outside within the bark.

The cork is removed by hand from the bark of the oak tree with the pin.

A tiny fraction of corks, about 1 to 2 percent today, will contaminate your wine by introducing a sour chemical that smells called trichloroanisole. The substance known as TCA is made by an array of chemical reactions that occur inside the bottle. Chlorine from the atmosphere reacts with natural lignin molecules that are found in cork’s wood to create the chemical trichlorophenol. It is then the process of being modified by the mold. TCA is one of the strongest smells that exist. Some people can detect at least two parts of a trillion of wine. That means that for every 8 cases of wine, the bottles of one or two will smell like wet cardboard or not be as good tasting. Restaurants allow you to taste their wine prior to pouring to let you decide if the wine is stained. A failure rate of 1% is a high number in the current world.

Plastic amazing?

Synthetic corks are produced of polyethylene, which is the same material that makes milk bottles, as well as plastic pipes. Through years of research and development, these corks are now nearly the same way as the natural cork but with three differences: they are not tainted, they allow in a little more oxygen, and they have a very stable oxygen transmission.

Their consistency is a key factor for winemakers as the wine will exhibit a consistent flavor at different points in time. Winemakers can actually modify the rate at which they oxidize their wine by deciding on several synthetic corks that have various rates of oxidation transmission.

Screwcaps consist of two components: they comprise a cap made of steel and the liner at the cap’s top that is sealed to the top inside the wine bottle. Liner: This is the most important component that regulates the amount of oxygen that gets in the wine. When screwcaps were first used for jug wines, there were only two types of liner available. Today, a variety of firms are able to give their opinions on which oxygen transfer is ideal as well as replace the tin in traditional lines. The standard liners allow slightly more or less oxygen than the natural corks. Screwcaps that are manufactured are also very reliable.

Is there the best closure for wine?

The performance of these manufactured closures, which are made using modern technology, is outstanding. In general, they meet our expectations, based upon more than two centuries of experience using the natural closures made of cork.

For regular wines, you may purchase them for dinner this weekend or keep them for an entire year or so. Any of these closures are perfect, while the closures manufactured by manufacturers do not have any tainting. The decision is largely a choice of how you open the bottle. Do you want the ease of pulling off the cap? Do you desire the ritual of taking off the cork?


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