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Bottle wax instead of capsules

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spurgon

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Hi,

I'm pondering the use of bottle wax to cover the necks of my next batch of wine I bottle instead of foil capsules. My question is, are there any negative issues involved with the use of wax?
Thanks,
Spurgon
 

Luc

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I have used wax a few times. the wax is not easily obtained here. Just a few French supermarkets sell it and then only in 1 color (red). It gives the bottles a kind of neat look.

Just make very sure the wine is stable (using sulphite and sorbate) because if there is any post ferment activity in the bottles the cork can go nowhere and pressure builds up.
This is however the same when using caps.

The only concern is that corks are presumably breathable (the jury is still out on that) and that might aid in aging.
The caps have small holes in them so that helps (if the breathable part is true).
Wax seals it off completely.

Luc
 

rodo

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The only concern is that corks are presumably breathable (the jury is still out on that)
When I installed AC in my wine storage room it lowered the temperature by 15 degrees F, or 9.4C in less than an hour and I could see tiny trails of bubbles in many of the bottles. However if the temperature never varies I can't believe much breathing occurs.
 

JohnT

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I have read that all corks "breathable".

Definition of "Breathable"...

Although air tight, corks do allow some oxygen to "seep" into the wine. This is a VERY slow and very slight process akin to osmosis. A good proof of this is (at times) you open a rather old bottle of tanic red wine and notice a type of concretion covering the inside of the bottle. This concretion is most likely caused by the tanins in the red wine reacting with the oxygen that has bled through the cork.

Please keep in mind, however, that this is a very very slow process.

All corks have this phenominon in common and this is considered a normal part of aging. This also happens with synthetic corks at a much higher rate.

So what does this have to do with waxing???

Waxing is great for long term storage of wine. It will further slow down the aging/osmosis process. In fact, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold (from a cache of 1798 Lafite once owned by Thomas Jefferson) was said to taste superb and the wax seal was credited.
 

PPBart

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...Waxing is great for long term storage of wine. It will further slow down the aging/osmosis process. In fact, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold (from a cache of 1798 Lafite once owned by Thomas Jefferson) was said to taste superb and the wax seal was credited.
As a wine lover, history buff and admirer of Thomas Jefferson, I found The Billionaire's Vinegar a fascinating account of the scams and scandals surrounding that wine(!) Recommended reading, especially for anyone who has any interest in collecting rare wines...
 

JohnT

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Although the origins of the wine were questionable (because they were never disclosed), no difinitive proof was offered the proved that the wine was fake.
 

Runningwolf

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Spurgon, this forum is full of opinions and facts. Ultimately it's what you like in the end. I personally don't like the looks of waxed bottles, but others love it or it wouldn't sell. Why don't you try doing half a batch with wax and the other half with capsules. Decide later was the extra effort worth the end result or not. Please keep us posted on what you decide as their are others on here pondering the same thing. One more thing...we love pictures!!!!
 

Wade E

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As Luc said many things are opinions but I myself do believe that all corks breathe and that if you dont have good cellaring conditiosn as in stable temps the wax is a better way to go if your trying to bottle age wine for years as it will dramatically slow down the aging.
 

JohnT

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let us know how it turns out and how you applied the wax.
 

non-grapenut

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I used wax in the beginning of my winemaking 2 years ago. I just opened a Rose Petal Zinfindel that I wax-sealed. It was amazing. The only thing I didn't like about my wax-sealed wines was that it is nearly impossible to get all the wax off around the bottle rim and sometimes you will have wax floaties in your wine that flake off the bottle during dispensing.
 

Runningwolf

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Check with Troy. I think he might wax!
 

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