Glass producer Owens-Illinois have teamed up with Cork producer Amorin have teamed up to launch what they claim “the first real advance in packaging since the turn of the century”. I must note that the century is only 13 years old !!

The “Helix” stopper was launched at Vinexpo. The cork is placed into a bottle that has a helix-shaped grove moulded into the mouth of the bottle. A flange at the top of the cork extends outside the bottle rather like a champagne cork. This when turned by hand will twist the cork out from the bottle mouth without the need of a corkscrew. The idea is to give the image of a premium cork closure with the convenience factor claimed by screw cap makers.

Much testing has shown that there is no sensory difference from standard cork closures over accelerated aging process. Only minor adjustments will be required to existing bottling lines. The “Helix” has been successfully trialled in 12 wineries in three countries. Concern has been voiced about how easy it would be to tamper with the makers have stated that the users wil have to provide their own capsules to seal the cork to the bottle.