In recent years, as a consequence of higher market prices for cork and of the qualitative problems created by natural stoppers, the demand for alternative seals has increased remarkably. Since 1990, numerous manufacturers of plastic materials have begun production of synthetic stoppers for the closure of wine bottles. The application of the first experimental products was highly unsatisfactory and showed the need to carry out more research into the characterisation of the materials employed and their interaction with the “matrix wine”. The object of this study was to estimate the mechanical characteristics of a particular kind of synthetic stopper and to compare the physico-chemical profiles of different Italian wines bottled with corks, or with synthetic stoppers made of expanded polyethylene, during the wine conservation phase. Analytical and statistical data produced give assurance that for these wine types, the employment of the synthetic stopper helps to increase the shelf-life of wines ready to consume within 1–2 years after bottling.
- Plastic material