Hah, apparently vino-seals, or glass stoppers, have been in the market for a couple years at least now, but I’ve just learnt about it. A bunch of the DGS crew were wine tasting in Oregon this weekend, and they discovered the novel use of these stoppers at one of the best wineries on the trip, Barking Frog.
The vino-seal was developed by Alcoa Closure Systems International, and in Europe, over 350 wineries use a similar stopper, branded as vino lok. Whitehall Lane Winery in Napa was the first winery in the US to use the branded vino-seal glass stoppers for its wines back in 2006.
Given that it costs about the same as a “high-end” cork*, I wonder why more companies have not switched to this alternative form of corking. After all, it is way more attractive and sexier than screw caps and synthetic corks, no?
*According to what I’ve been able to find on the Internet, the glass stoppers have to be inserted manually, or otherwise with the use of a machine that costs $70,000. In addition, the vino-seals cost $0.70 each, vs. the cost of corks, which ranges from $0.10 to $1.00 depending on the quality.