Glass closure on a bottle of wine we bought recently | Flickr: Intercambio de fotos

Glass closure on a bottle of wine we bought recently Flickr: Intercambio de fotos

What a hip glass closure!

Alternative wine closures?

Yes, these are substitute closures used in the wine industry for sealing wine bottles in place of traditional cork closures.

What are they?

1. Synthetic corks: They are made from plastic compounds designed to look and "pop" like natural cork. They avoid the TCA or trichloroamisole contamination but have certain disadvantages such as a risk of harmful air entering the bottle after 18 months as well as the difficulty of extracting the cork from the bottle.

2. Screw caps or Stelvin caps: These are closures made only from aluminium that threads onto the bottleneck. They are the predominant closure used by New Zealand wineries. Quality tests show that apart from protecting against cork taint, screwcaps are beneficial in the aging of wine, particularly preserving the aromatic freshness. However, in some cases, after the first ten years, the plastic in the caps may go brittle and let air in or the cap may go through a process of sulphidisation by which the sulphur in the wine reeks, thus altering and spoiling the bouquet of the wine.

3. Vino-Seal or Vino-lok: This is a plastic/glass closure released by Alcoa. This method, which uses a glass stopper with an inert o-ring, creates a hermetic seal which prevents oxidation and TCA contamination. However, the plug is costly and so is the manual bottling due to the lack of compatible bottling equipment outside Europe.

4. Zork: This alternative closure, invented in South Australia by McKenna and Brooks, seals like a screw cap and pops like a cork. It consists of three parts:

a. an outer cap providing a  clamp locking onto the band of a standard cork mouth bottle.
b. an inner metal foil which acts as an oxygen barrier similar to a screw cap.
c. an inner plug that creates a "pop" on extraction and reseals after use.

5. Crown caps: They have been used in the sparkling wine industry, as a closure during the bottle fermentation process. The cap is replaced with a cork before shipping. Crown caps provide a tight seal without risking cork-taint. Although they are easier to open, crown caps eliminate part of the ceremony and mystique of opening a sparkling one.

OK, then. Should we be romantic or practical? Come on, let´s make up your minds!

The Wine Bottle

I´m sure nobody´s ever paid any special attention to the bottle that holds the precious elixir that wine is. Remember Othello? Let´s focus on the modest container, shall we?

It is generally made of glass. Some wines are fermented in the bottle and others are bottled only after fermentation.

They come in a large variety of sizes, several named for biblical kings and other figures. The standard bottle contains 750 ml., although this is a relatively recent development.

Wine bottles are susually sealed with cork, but screw-top caps are becoming popular, and there are several other methods used to seal a bottle.

Cousiño-Macul, Don Luis, Cabernet Sauvignon - 2008 | Flickr: Intercambio de fotos

Cousiño-Macul, Don Luis, Cabernet Sauvignon - 2008 Flickr: Intercambio de fotos


YouTube - Days Of Wine And Roses - Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer

YouTube - Days Of Wine And Roses - Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer

The Language Doctor quotes William Shakespeare and Johnny Mercer

¨Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used, exclaim no more against it." Shakespeare,

The dark seductive Moor welcomed the elixir with the magical power to lessen affliction or ease the pain of living and solemnly stood for it against all criticism.

Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics of "Days of Wine and Roses" to embrace the melody created by Henry Mancini, who also played it with his orchestra. A romantic song that makes us think whether the wine was an oak-aged Chardonnay with matching tea roses or a smooth, crisp Bordeaux to suit a bunch of velvety dark red rosebuds.

Songwriters: Henry Mancini-Johnny Mercer

The days of wine and roses laugh and run away like a child at play
Through the meadow land toward a closing door
A door marked "nevermore" that wasn´t there before.

The lonely night discloses just a passing breeze filled with memories
Of the golden smile that introduced me to
The days of wine and roses and you

The days of wine and roses.


Finca Agostino VII | Flickr: Intercambio de fotos

Finca Agostino VII Flickr: Intercambio de fotos

English for Sommeliers

Sommeliers and Enologists

A sommelier (pronounced /s^mal´jeI/ in English and /somalje/ in French) or wine steward is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, commonly working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food matching, the role being more specialized and informed than that of a wine waiter.

Etymologically, the modern word is French and derives from the Middle French where it referred to a court official charged with transportation of supplies.

Becoming a certified sommelier requires classes and examination and basic education may be attained over the course of six months. The diploma of master sommelier was introduced in 1969.

Oenology (British English) or enology (American English) (pronounced /InolodgI/is the science and study of all aspects of wine and wine making except vine-growing and grape harvesting, which is a subfield called viticulture

Viticulture and  Oenology is a common designation for training programmes and research centres that include both outdoors and indoors aspects of wine production. The word oenology is derived from the Greek oinos (wine) and logos (word or speech) .

An oenologist is an expert in the field of oenology.

English Red Booths

Hi everyone!

We live in a world/society in which it is truly essential how a service is given for it to be successful. Medicine, business, communications, education, the hotel and catering industry ... you name it.

When a language such as English is learnt, teachers and professors usually resort to a useful communicational approach with an emphasis on the grammar.

How is it then possible for people who get trained to become professionals to find a course that has these characteristics but also focuses on the specific language of their career without neglecting the proper pronunciation/intonation and the extremely useful email/report writing?

English Red Booths offers this alternative. For ages, a booth, in its varied forms, a call box, an interpeter´s booth, has successfully been used to allow people to communicate in a private, comfortable, easy way. This is the concept embraced by ERB.

Check the blog to learn about it and contact ERB if you have any questions or if you wish to take a course.

Maria Darcy