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Category Archives: Corks/closures

Bicycle pumps and screwcaps

We've run a variety of videos on the blog featuring unique ways to open a wine bottle. Oddly enough, many of the people in the videos, whether sabering a Champagne bottle, using a pliers to pull out a screw embedded in a cork, or bashing a bottle against a wall, have not been completely sober.

This video, however (courtesy of Household Hacker on YouTube) may be the best yet. For one thing, the guy opening the wine is completely sober. For another, he offers seven alternatives to a cork screw — one of which involves a bicycle pump. Frankly, that makes sabering seem almost irrelevant.

He is missing the eighth — and best — way, however. That's a screwcap, and the wine business has finally started doing studies to figure out where screwcaps works best and how to best use them. That may even be better than the bicycle pump.

Winebits 235: Wine packaging

The glass bottle may not be endangered, but more producers are opting for different formats than ever before:

Paper bottles: The world’s first paper wine bottle will likely be on British supermarket shelves in the fall, reports the drinks business trade magazine.  GreenBottle, which makes the paper product, is finalizing negotiations with a top UK grocer to sell one or two wines in the new container later this year. The bottle has a plastic coating on the inside of the box, which gives it a 9- to 12-month shelf life. GreenBottle founder Martin Myerscough says he has seen “huge interest” from retailers in Australia, California and France, and plans to expand outside of Britain in 2013.

Airline wine: Increasingly, those single-portion bottles served on airlines are made of plastic, says BeverageDaily.com. Cost-conscious U.S airlines are driving demand for the bottles, which are made from lighter, cheaper PET – an oil-based plastic called polyethylene terephthalate. PET bottles not only cost less, but are 100 percent recyclable and easier to dispose of in a cramped airplane galley.

Box wine growth: It’s impressive, reports Shanken News Daily. Two of the biggest brands, Black Box and Bota Box, sold almost 4 million cases between them in 2011. And, though overall sales for boxed wine are still only 2 percent of the U.S. market, it’s growing rapidly – 27 percent in the 52 weeks through mid-March. What makes this even more impressive is that many retailers don’t like to sell box wine, since it doesn’t fit easily on their shelves, which are designed for bottles. That’s why, in so many stores, the box wine is off in a corner.

Screwcaps: More in use, and more accepted than ever

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Two recent studies show that consumers and wineries really don't mind screwcaps — actually like them, believe it or not — despite the best efforts of the cork business to convince us otherwise. More, after the jump:

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