The function of wine capsules

What are wine capsules?

The wine bottle capsules are those elements at the top of the neck of the bottle, and are responsible for protecting the cork, and consequently the wine, from possible deterioration.

Murillo Viteri wine bottle capsule

Its history dates back to 1760, when tons of wine arrived in Vienna from Bordeaux. As time went by, the wines lost their qualities and began to turn sour, so they began to be bottled. The court realised that there were occasions when the cork was manipulated to infiltrate substances into the wine. To prevent counterfeiting or tampering with the wines, the monarch introduced a law whereby all bottles of wine had to be sealed with sealing wax.

However, the modern capsules arrived in the 18th century, when lead capsules began to be used in Hungary. They were used for wines considered to be of better quality and more luxurious, in order to keep track of production. The capsules were then used as a seal of identity.

What are they used for?

Today, the wine capsule has two main functions. The first is basically aesthetic, to make the bottle more attractive. It helps consumers to identify a particular wine brand, as it complements the label and ends up being something characteristic of each wine.

The second function is hygienic. The capsules protect the neck of the bottle and the cork from dust, deterioration or drying out. It also guarantees that the bottle of wine has never been opened. Would you buy a bottle of wine without a capsule?

What materials are wine capsules made of?

In the beginning, mainly lead was used as a material for their manufacture. However, various environmental regulations and different regulations have limited its use. Nowadays, the main materials are the following:

Tin: These are considered to be the best capsules and are therefore used in high-end wines. They are usually made in one piece. On the other hand, they allow a great combination of colours and designs, as well as being easy to open.

  • Lead-Pewter: As we have mentioned, it has been one of the most widely used materials. Nowadays, however, they are hardly used due to environmental laws. They are composed of a lead sheet covered by layers of tin.
  • Complex Material: They are made of aluminium and polyethylene plates. They are usually made in two pieces and facilitate the opening of wines very easily. They are usually used for medium and high quality wines.
  • PVC: This is the cheapest and simplest option, as it reduces the possibilities of printing and design. In several countries it is banned and therefore in disuse, due to its environmental impact and its recycling difficulties.
  • Aluminium: They are made entirely from this material, but there are few factories that produce them.
    Now you know where the use of wine capsules and their different types comes from, we encourage you to continue to delve into this incredible world to be true winelovers! 🙂

Murillo Viteri Rioja Wine

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