Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#51 Post by M. Meer »

William Kelley wrote: August 6th, 2021, 5:04 pm

Had closures been superb and consistent, we would have seen an arguably unfortunate stylistic change, rather than the total collapse of a genre.
They sure did some funky things in the '90s... I'm looking at you, '95 Pernots [pwn.gif]

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#52 Post by Larry Link »

Cris Whetstone wrote: August 6th, 2021, 4:52 pm
Vince T wrote: August 6th, 2021, 12:10 pm Pulling it directly through the wax capsule is not foolproof. In multiple cases, I've had the cork break while trying to pull directly through wax, as the wax was too tough to give way to the cork fully. I watched one friend try this on an older bottle (2001 burg, not even that old), and his corkscrew shredded the center of the cork creating an unholy mess of little bits falling into the bottle.

The hot water treatment also only works on younger softer wax capsules - it doesn't do much good on old crusty curmudgeon wax.
Vince nails it. Aiming for the middle with a corkscrew is the best you can do but it doesn't work every time. If the wax is of some age it just crumbles. Good luck keeping every but out of the bottle. It's pretty much impossible once it becomes hard and brittle.

Using it to combat premox must be some sort of joke. Producers blaming enclosures for premox feels like politicians suddenly stirring up a faux crisis when a scandal breaks. Maybe the producers that have avoided premox all these years have been paying extra to have their corks treated with pixie dust?
rolleyes
I’ve opened more than my share of Raveneau and PYCM wines sealed with wax, and the technique of plunging the corkscrew into the wax works every time. I do this over a pull out trash can in my kitchen, and after the cork is 50% out, scrape the shards of wax around the edge of the bottle. Very little mess, usually no wax makes it into the bottle or glass. I don’t understand the vitriol around wax.

I also believe that the wax provides a much better seal than a capsule for oxygen ingress if the cork fails or leaks. It’s a tight seal to the glass and top of cork.

I wish Roulot would try sealing with wax capsules, his wines premox rates are getting worse.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#53 Post by RichardFlack »

Michael Martin wrote: August 6th, 2021, 11:25 am
Alex Rychlewski wrote: August 6th, 2021, 11:08 am Michael,

What I'm asking is why make things more complicated than they need to be?

AR
Maybe we could just have white paper labels with black print too. [snort.gif]

It’s wine. It tells a story in many ways. Some stories are more complex than others.
So what is the story behind wax? We sell our wine to be visually admired, not drunk?

Just holding the palm of your hand over the top for thirty seconds should soften the wax enough. But then we have Samuel Billaud who thinks it’s fun to put some gold leaf on his wax capsules, which of course comes off on the hand.

I have nothing against something done for supposed visual appeal, unless it impairs the consumption process.

What’s next - hand blown bottles that won’t fit in a rack?

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#54 Post by RichardFlack »

William Kelley wrote: August 6th, 2021, 5:14 pm
Rodrigo B wrote: August 6th, 2021, 5:11 pm
William Kelley wrote: August 6th, 2021, 5:04 pm So just from a technical perspective, wax is the best of the options that are legal today. It also happens to be cheaper, more ecologically friendly, and doesn't require the expense of a custom capsule adapted to non-standard bottle shapes.
When you say cheaper is that on just the materials costs or does that include the labour in dipping the bottles on wax?
Material cost. I think total cost would depend if you have employees free to wax bottles when there would otherwise not be much to do, or if you have to hire folks. As one domaine in Chablis responded to an offer for a waxing machine (these are now a commercial proposition from Fichet), "but if we didn't wax by hand, what would we do in the winter?"
Wax on, wax off.

Simples.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#55 Post by Adam Frisch »

Wax is much cheaper than buying capsules or seals. When you factor in the time it takes to seal them and the elxricity needs to heat the wax bath, then perhaps not. In my tiny operation, to avoid going insane, I only wax just before I ship my bottles to customers. That way it's spread out over the year and feels a lot less like work. If I had to do them all at once, I'd develop scoliosis from the repetitive motion and insanity from he boredom! [head-bang.gif]
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#56 Post by Mattstolz »

but... without a capsule or wax... what will protect the vulnerable cork from contamination?? Kelley Fox learned this the hard way from the internetz.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#57 Post by Marshall Manning »

Richard Albert wrote: August 6th, 2021, 3:03 pm For the hard messy, crumbly wax, I put a single layer of a towel over the bottle and gently rap it with a tablespoon, straight down and from the side on the edges of the bottle top. Remove the towel, then put the screw in through the middle of the cork and pull up partially--there is less wax on the bottle to deal with. You can rap on the wax still clinging to the bottle before you pull the cork all the way out.
This. Although I use something a bit heavier, like a meat hammer and a damp paper towel so the wax mostly sticks to the paper towel. Gets old Ganevat and Foillard wax off with no problem at all.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#58 Post by Wes Barton »

Michael Martin wrote: August 6th, 2021, 11:25 am
Alex Rychlewski wrote: August 6th, 2021, 11:08 am Michael,

What I'm asking is why make things more complicated than they need to be?

AR
Maybe we could just have white paper labels with black print too. [snort.gif]

It’s wine. It tells a story in many ways. Some stories are more complex than others.
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Can't stand bloody wax capsules.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#59 Post by Wes Barton »

Vince T wrote: August 6th, 2021, 12:10 pm Pulling it directly through the wax capsule is not foolproof. In multiple cases, I've had the cork break while trying to pull directly through wax, as the wax was too tough to give way to the cork fully. I watched one friend try this on an older bottle (2001 burg, not even that old), and his corkscrew shredded the center of the cork creating an unholy mess of little bits falling into the bottle.

The hot water treatment also only works on younger softer wax capsules - it doesn't do much good on old crusty curmudgeon wax.
Exactly. There are so many different materials used, each with their own characteristics. Even if you're used to what your favorite producer uses, that's subject to change, so you may be caught off guard by a new release or older bottle. The properties of the capsule can change as they age, so may become problematic. They can also age into an ugly appearance. I have some 40 year old "reserve" bottles where the wax thinned out or something. They look like someone slipped used condoms on them. Seriously. Total WTF appearance. I challenge anyone to provide an equally accurate description.
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Can't stand bloody wax capsules.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#60 Post by Sean_S »

Alex Rychlewski wrote: August 6th, 2021, 9:15 am It happened again today.
I went to open a bottle of 2018 Bierzo from Veronica Ortega.
Damnation, wax capsule.

Chip away, make a mess, necessarily leave some on the outside of the bottle.
Wipe away the bits that inevitably remain around – and on the inside of – the neck of the bottle.


Why, oh why do producers do this?
I see no positive side whatsoever. Do you?

It cab be pointed out that there are supple wax capsules. Although useless, these are admittedly much easier to remove. But, hell, other than standing out for marketing purposes, I see no justification.

If tradition is the answer, I’d say that there are good and bad traditions, and that this is one of the latter.

Best regards,
Alex R.
I'm with you on this. Always hated wax and hate them more after last fall when I was trying to scrape off the wax (obviosuly the wrong technique) and managed to stab myself in the arm with a foil cutter and ended up in the ER for 6 stitches. It was the last thing I really wanted to do during Covid was to spend 6 hours in Zuckerberg SF General Hospital ER waiting to get stitches but thats how it ended. Thanks to Ed Kurtzman and Wes Barton for getting me medical care and Winemaker Justin for cleaning up all the blood I spurted everywhere at Ed's winery. I've learned since then just to bore through the wax with the cork screw but I'm not a fan.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#61 Post by john stimson »

Whatever method folks choose to use, it helps to score the wax around the top of the bottle with your foil cutter to provide a fracture or separation point for the wax--not deeply enough to make wax fly in all directions. I've found with doing this, heating the wax with warm washcloth (whether it's new or old style wax), you can either drive the corkscrew through the wax, or peel/chip it off with the foil cutter or a knife (put your thumb against the top of the neck and draw the knife towards you with your fingers) without too much difficulty or mess.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#62 Post by alan weinberg »

contrarian here. Never been a problem for me. Drive corkscrew in, lift cork up half way, dust off the loose wax pieces, and then fully remove the cork. No problem

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#63 Post by RyanC »

alan weinberg wrote: August 7th, 2021, 2:44 pm contrarian here. Never been a problem for me. Drive corkscrew in, lift cork up half way, dust off the loose wax pieces, and then fully remove the cork. No problem
I agree. I hate to admit it but I actually quite like wax capsules.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#64 Post by Wes Barton »

What's telling is with our self-selected group of wine geeks posting on this thread:
1) So many aren't certain how to deal with these things.
2) Many with a narrow set of data points appear overly confident the technique they use for a few producers' wax translates to all.
3) Many with a broader set of data points are aware of the spectrum of characteristics these "wax" capsules can have.

Even if we've learned various methods of dealing with the various wax types, with another set of alternative techniques that are best-under-the-circumstances... How does this play in Peoria? Stabbing injuries aside, you can imagine a lot of bad experiences leading consumers to not want to buy these after they've contended with opening one. Relying fully of market research that says how attractive these bottles appear is foolhardy. Is it a winery's goal to make a lot of one-time sales, followed by a negative impression and never, ever buying their wines again?

Then, look at all the people making excuses. Aside from those whose only experiences are with less problematic wax, many of the rest are tolerating it because it's wines they really like. A minor inconvenience. If you're okay making an exception here and there because it's a favorite producer or some wine you'd really like to try, what if this wasn't just a tiny fraction of wines? Wouldn't there be some point the mess and hassle would get old?

With premox, we know the main culprit is the winemaking, followed by the winemaking not adapting to winemaker changes in the vineyard and (allegedly) climate change. (Funny how many much warmer-to-hot regions make excellent, age-worthy "cool climate" Chardonnay.) So sure, DIAM and wax both add extra protection to extra-vulnerable wines. But note, many of the early premox wines were entire batches or whole ranges of releases, vintage after vintage, where the variability of cork only dictated how "pre" the premox was. The wines aren't being made that vulnerable anymore, which is.....winemaking choices. So, are all these producers who make a point of showing they use wax of DIAM really doing it out of necessity or is it a gimmick? Something to say they've fixed to problem and you can feel confident buying their wines....unlike some of the competition. Perhaps a little of both?

I guess people could do long-term experiments. Remove wax from one bottle you bought several of and keep it and a control bottle, for a comparison test in 15 years. Optimally you'd do that with several wines from a sampling of producers.
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Can't stand bloody wax capsules.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#65 Post by Rick Bollig »

Philip N. Jones wrote: August 6th, 2021, 3:10 pm Perhaps I missed something in this thread, but I simply use a sharp knife to slice off the wax even with the top of the glass. Then I use a corkscrew. Works well and looks good the few times I have done it.
This is what I do. I’ve probably only opened a dozen or so, but this method has caused zero problems foe me.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#66 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

Sean S y d n e y wrote: August 6th, 2021, 10:15 am Zero upside, and as someone who works on a restaurant floor it's incredibly frustrating to try to open it at a table and watch it rain down/have to pick or wipe it off/get stuck.

End wax tyranny.
Had this conversation Thursday night. Puffeney are some of the worst. Last time I opened a was sealed bottle wound up with a hand cut since the rim cracked and I didn’t notice.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#67 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

The problem I have with wax capsules is they get chipped a lot and the wax breaks off. I don’t mind
Opening the bottles the way others have mentioned.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#68 Post by Andrew Bair »

Although the presence of a wax capsule will not deter me from buying a wine that I really badly want, it can definitely be a deciding factor if if I'm debating whether to buy a bottle or not. Such a mess to clean up - even with a sharp knife, I end up opening waxed bottles over the wastebasket to prevent the residue from going all over the place, and then pouring the wine through a decanter filter even if I am not decanting it.

Brewer-Clifton used to use a wax-look capsule that was much easier to remove neatly than the "real thing"; same with Belle Glos.

Also, even if waxed capsules aid against premox, why not just go with a screwcap?

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#69 Post by Bruce G. »

The main "advantage" of wax is probably the aesthetic value.
But there are other points as well...
-It's more environmentally friendly, especially if it can be sourced from locally made wax.
-It's cheaper than foils as far as materials costs go.... application is typically done by hand, and takes time, so labor costs might be higher
-It allows for precise color adjustment.... as long as you have red, yellow, and blue wax and a small amount of white and black you can make just about any color imaginable, allowing for a fine tuning of packaging. This is especially helpful if you're talking smaller lots of 100 cases or so.... it's very expensive to order custom color foils in very small quantities


I've never had any serious problems opening wax-finished bottles, but appreciate that some have had them.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#70 Post by m. ristev »

wax is wonderful, even if only for the fact that it is far easier to deduce how a bottle was stored by looking at the condition of the wax. obviously there is no way to hide a slightly raised cork or seepage if the bottle has been waxed. if you like buying older vintages, a foil capsule can be quite deceptive as to the true storage conditions.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#71 Post by William Kelley »

Cris Whetstone wrote: August 6th, 2021, 5:48 pm
William Kelley wrote: August 6th, 2021, 5:04 pm
Cris Whetstone wrote: August 6th, 2021, 4:52 pm Maybe the producers that have avoided premox all these years have been paying extra to have their corks treated with pixie dust?
rolleyes
How numerous are they? I can think of at best three or four in Burgundy. And they work with the best corks money can buy, use very high levels of free SO2, and in some cases wax as well.

White Burgundy was definitely rendered more fragile by changes in winemaking, grape growing, and, to a lesser extent, climate; but it would be a mistake to think that the closure isn't critical. Had closures been superb and consistent, we would have seen an arguably unfortunate stylistic change, rather than the total collapse of a genre.
I really do not understand how you can draw that conclusion. Had enclosures been inconsistent why didn't premox happen 50 years ago? I find this just a big distraction.

Maybe a stronger enclosure can slow down premox but as we've seen with screw caps that would mean producers are going to have to tweak something at or prior to bottling.

But again, that's not addressing the real issues as you've listed. This comes across mostly as a distraction at worst and a mere band aid at best.

As far as the list, I don't follow Burgundy beyond Chablis excepting the few things I bump into here. But I do remember someone taking lists some years ago. It seems as though it were more that three or four houses that were not seeing premox. I suppose that's the rub to me. At least in Chablis we see people making wines from the same vineyards and not having premox. Then others that get it badly. It shouldn't be that hard to figure out the what's and why's. I know many houses keep books of what they do year to year. It really can't be that hard to track what changes coincide with when premox reared it's head.

But we've been down this path. For whatever reason people will accept the general lack of openness and answers while accept things like Diam being an answer. Whatever is going on wax tops suck and won't solve premox.
neener
I think you've misunderstood my point. What happened was that the wines became more fragile (mostly due to winemaking choices, I agree, and I've written about what the changes were and when they happened in print) from the mid-1990s, thereby throwing variance in closure oxygen transmission rate (OTR) into heightened relief. Simultaneously, cork quality hit a nadir. So what with very robust wines of the '70s and '80s expressed as comparatively minor bottle variation became five bottles oxidized, three advanced, and four correct out of a case of 12.

Now, I would be the first to lament the winemaking changes that made the wines more fragile; and I tend to think that those winemaking changes, in addition to making more fragile wines, also made less interesting wines than what came before (at the time, they were described as "more elegant"). But it would be obtuse to deny that closure OTR is critical as to whether wines actually oxidize or not. Otherwise, DIAM and screw cap wouldn't prevent oxidation as demonstrably as they do. After all, even an immensely fragile wine, stored under an impermeable screw cap, won't oxidize as long as the seal holds. And to give you an idea of just how big the variations we're dealing with are, we are talking about a factor of 50 difference between the lowest and highest OTR in a batch of expensive corks. That's huge.

As for Chablis, I think they have fared better than the Côte de Beaune largely to do with less use oak: élevage is less oxidative there, and nor was the trend towards lower free sulfur such a thing as it was in the Côte de Beaune. But premox is still endemic in Chablis.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#72 Post by William Kelley »

William Segui wrote: August 6th, 2021, 2:58 pm
larry schaffer wrote: August 6th, 2021, 11:13 am This is all for the look and the perceived value. I do kind of like really big bottles!
Large format bottles often have larger neck/openings. Which require different sized capsules. Have you seen the minimum order for capsules lately (7,000 - 10,000)? Wax is often the only way to get a finished look on a non-traditional package.
I think people would be amazed how many bottles are sufficiently "non standard" to require custom capsules.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#73 Post by TGigante »

alan weinberg wrote: August 7th, 2021, 2:44 pm contrarian here. Never been a problem for me. Drive corkscrew in, lift cork up half way, dust off the loose wax pieces, and then fully remove the cork. No problem
Agree. Doesn't present much of an issue. Only tricky part is getting the waiters friend to grip on the wax to pull the cork up a bit. Had a bit of an issue recently with a 2013 Liquid farm which had a round dome on the wax that had hardened a bit.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#74 Post by Greg K »

There are things that, imho, are fare more annoying than wax capsules. I'd gladly be willing to have all my wine sealed with wax if they came in Bordeaux size bottles.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#75 Post by Vince T »

Greg K wrote: August 8th, 2021, 8:48 am There are things that, imho, are fare more annoying than wax capsules. I'd gladly be willing to have all my wine sealed with wax if they came in Bordeaux size bottles.
I’m with you on that. While I’m firmly in the dislike wax camp, it’s a lesser evil compared to overweight bottles that don’t fit in my storage… which is about 2.5731 times more annoying than wax.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#76 Post by Greg K »

Vince T wrote: August 8th, 2021, 9:53 am
Greg K wrote: August 8th, 2021, 8:48 am There are things that, imho, are fare more annoying than wax capsules. I'd gladly be willing to have all my wine sealed with wax if they came in Bordeaux size bottles.
I’m with you on that. While I’m firmly in the dislike wax camp, it’s a lesser evil compared to overweight bottles that don’t fit in my storage… which is about 2.5731 times more annoying than wax.
One of my favorite producers uses both wax and slightly oversized bottles and the latter is a much bigger pain. The only time the wax is really annoying is when I want to blind the wines, lol.

I’ll also add, I’m usually quite happy to get discounts on wines because the wax capsule is chipped. Fantastic!
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#77 Post by Yao C »

As others have mentioned, I don't mind a little extra ritual around removing the wax before drinking the wine. It's all part of the experience, a thing that forces you to be present and go "yes I'm doing this." The slight reduction in premox risk for the waxed white Burgundies I collect is the cherry on top
Greg K wrote: August 8th, 2021, 8:48 am There are things that, imho, are fare more annoying than wax capsules. I'd gladly be willing to have all my wine sealed with wax if they came in Bordeaux size bottles.
Agree
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#78 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Greg K wrote: August 8th, 2021, 8:48 am There are things that, imho, are fare more annoying than wax capsules. I'd gladly be willing to have all my wine sealed with wax if they came in Bordeaux size bottles.
I prefer standard-sized burgundy bottles; they fit better in bins.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#79 Post by RichardFlack »

I’m certainly with the YMMV camp on collateral damage on opening. It CAN go well (see below) but it can be a chore. I use the hand warm technique, draw the cork 50% and clean up. As chance would have it the Macon I pulled for our fish cakes a couple of days ago had a wax capsule, and this wasn’t a high end wine.
This bottle opened cleanly.

Wax doesn’t really affect my buying choices.

6D5B564E-0F20-4285-8F08-B3A10E8AB690.jpeg
So far so good…
2BE273B2-B448-4E1A-99D5-E4816887BA84.jpeg
No shards…
2829B3AD-56B7-415E-93B8-ECA5301E2C8A.jpeg
Nice clean pour
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#80 Post by R. Frankel »

I built a small tool that is like a little drill head that spins in a circle (diameter adjustable) inside a flowbee like vacuum rig. I pop it over the wax bottle head, depress the trigger, and it grinds off the wax in a few seconds. The vacuum sucks up all the bits. No muss, no fuss, naked glass when done. I have another neat little device that is like a Durand head on an electric screwdriver to open bottles. Now that I wrapped some machine learning around the pressure sensor and opened a few hundred test bottles, it opens any bottle more or less instantly and always perfectly, no matter the cork. I have another nifty little gadget that drinks the wine for me and auto generates CT reviews.

The good thing about wax capsules is that they inspire us to greater creativity and inventiveness.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#81 Post by Larry Link »

R. Frankel wrote: August 8th, 2021, 11:05 am I built a small tool that is like a little drill head that spins in a circle (diameter adjustable) inside a flowbee like vacuum rig. I pop it over the wax bottle head, depress the trigger, and it grinds off the wax in a few seconds. The vacuum sucks up all the bits. No muss, no fuss, naked glass when done. I have another neat little device that is like a Durand head on an electric screwdriver to open bottles. Now that I wrapped some machine learning around the pressure sensor and opened a few hundred test bottles, it opens any bottle more or less instantly and always perfectly, no matter the cork. I have another nifty little gadget that drinks the wine for me and auto generates CT reviews.

The good thing about wax capsules is that they inspire us to greater creativity and inventiveness.
I’d love to see a picture or video of your contraption in use. Please post!

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#82 Post by JIMCOH »

No one using a Dremmel tool with a low speed cutting disc? Sounds pretty easy to me. [scratch.gif]
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#83 Post by lleichtman »

Alex Rychlewski wrote: August 6th, 2021, 11:08 am Michael,

What I'm asking is why make things more complicated than they need to be?

AR
Totally agree. We buy a lot of Mo Ayoub wines and almost all of them have these wax capsules. When I asked him, he told me it looked classier. I told him he should look at my table after trying to get this capsule off. Can't just go into it as it is too thick.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#84 Post by RichardFlack »

Would a Sabre work or does it need the pressure from bubbles?

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#85 Post by John Glas »

Mattstolz wrote: August 6th, 2021, 7:24 pm but... without a capsule or wax... what will protect the vulnerable cork from contamination?? Kelley Fox learned this the hard way from the internetz.
Screw caps would work fine! [wow.gif]

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#86 Post by John Glas »

RichardFlack wrote: August 8th, 2021, 2:40 pm Would a Sabre work or does it need the pressure from bubbles?
Let us know how that works out! Make sure to get on video.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#87 Post by William Kelley »

RichardFlack wrote: August 8th, 2021, 2:40 pm Would a Sabre work or does it need the pressure from bubbles?
I guess I shouldn't bring it up here, lest it be perceived as trolling, but 150 or so years ago, Champagne bottles were sometimes waxed hitsfan
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#88 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

William Kelley wrote: August 8th, 2021, 3:41 pm
RichardFlack wrote: August 8th, 2021, 2:40 pm Would a Sabre work or does it need the pressure from bubbles?
I guess I shouldn't bring it up here, lest it be perceived as trolling, but 150 or so years ago, Champagne bottles were sometimes waxed hitsfan
So there’s hope?

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#89 Post by B Stewart »

William Kelley wrote: August 6th, 2021, 5:04 pm
Cris Whetstone wrote: August 6th, 2021, 4:52 pm Maybe the producers that have avoided premox all these years have been paying extra to have their corks treated with pixie dust?
rolleyes
If you pick the right wax, it does seem that it enhances the seal.
"There is English wax. French wax. Domestic wax..."

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#90 Post by S. Stevenson »

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#91 Post by Eric LeVine »

S. Stevenson wrote: August 9th, 2021, 10:49 am
Someone brought a 1990 Dunn Howell Mountain to my house for a tasting back in 2004: https://www.cellartracker.com/event.asp?iEvent=1

I swear, it has been 17 years, and I am still finding wax shards. It was the most brittle, impenetrable, SOB substance I have ever encountered. And the cork was dry and broke in half. The wine was great though!

1990 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain - USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain (3/12/2004)
Seattle Tasting Group does 1990 & older Bordeaux (Seattle, WA, USA): Jason snuck this in as a ringer, and it did fantastically well. The nose shows tons of primary pleasure with mint and cassis. On the palate this shows just awesome, crushing tannins, long and silky, very powerful. Despite the mouthful of structure this is sweet, pure and lush, and very pleasurable. I know that people are very critical whether these wines ever come around, so I was stunned at how delicious and approachable this was. (95 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
-Eric LeVine (ITB)
It rhymes with wine...

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#92 Post by AD Northup »

Eric LeVine wrote: August 9th, 2021, 1:19 pm
S. Stevenson wrote: August 9th, 2021, 10:49 am
Someone brought a 1990 Dunn Howell Mountain to my house for a tasting back in 2004: https://www.cellartracker.com/event.asp?iEvent=1

I swear, it has been 17 years, and I am still finding wax shards. It was the most brittle, impenetrable, SOB substance I have ever encountered. And the cork was dry and broke in half. The wine was great though!

1990 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain - USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain (3/12/2004)
Seattle Tasting Group does 1990 & older Bordeaux (Seattle, WA, USA): Jason snuck this in as a ringer, and it did fantastically well. The nose shows tons of primary pleasure with mint and cassis. On the palate this shows just awesome, crushing tannins, long and silky, very powerful. Despite the mouthful of structure this is sweet, pure and lush, and very pleasurable. I know that people are very critical whether these wines ever come around, so I was stunned at how delicious and approachable this was. (95 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
Interesting this is popping up now, in the most recent Dunn release email, they had this: "As is the case for most everyone, the past year and a half led to some soul searching on both a personal and professional basis. In an effort to streamline our processes and mitigate chipped wax, we will be waxing only the Howell Mountain magnums going forward – all 750’s have been sealed with a foil capsule. While we recognize that some of you may miss the character of the wax, we are confident that many more of you will be pleased with the new packaging."
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#93 Post by michaelfm »

PaulMills wrote: August 6th, 2021, 3:17 pm I have bought beers with wax over the cap. Why?!?
These are the true demons. You can't even slightly pull the cork to help.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#94 Post by John Glas »

Eric LeVine wrote: August 9th, 2021, 1:19 pm
S. Stevenson wrote: August 9th, 2021, 10:49 am
Someone brought a 1990 Dunn Howell Mountain to my house for a tasting back in 2004: https://www.cellartracker.com/event.asp?iEvent=1

I swear, it has been 17 years, and I am still finding wax shards. It was the most brittle, impenetrable, SOB substance I have ever encountered. And the cork was dry and broke in half. The wine was great though!

1990 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain - USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain (3/12/2004)
Seattle Tasting Group does 1990 & older Bordeaux (Seattle, WA, USA): Jason snuck this in as a ringer, and it did fantastically well. The nose shows tons of primary pleasure with mint and cassis. On the palate this shows just awesome, crushing tannins, long and silky, very powerful. Despite the mouthful of structure this is sweet, pure and lush, and very pleasurable. I know that people are very critical whether these wines ever come around, so I was stunned at how delicious and approachable this was. (95 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
Would have been great without the wax! [cheers.gif]

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#95 Post by Doug Schulman »

michaelfm wrote: August 9th, 2021, 3:02 pm
PaulMills wrote: August 6th, 2021, 3:17 pm I have bought beers with wax over the cap. Why?!?
These are the true demons. You can't even slightly pull the cork to help.
I’ve opened quite a few. Pulling the cap off as usual, ignoring the wax, has always been easy.

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#96 Post by William Kelley »

Larry Link wrote: August 6th, 2021, 6:21 pm I wish Roulot would try sealing with wax capsules.
He is!
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#97 Post by Larry Link »

William Kelley wrote: August 9th, 2021, 5:16 pm
Larry Link wrote: August 6th, 2021, 6:21 pm I wish Roulot would try sealing with wax capsules.
He is!
Starting when?

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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#98 Post by michaelfm »

Doug Schulman wrote: August 9th, 2021, 3:55 pm
michaelfm wrote: August 9th, 2021, 3:02 pm
PaulMills wrote: August 6th, 2021, 3:17 pm I have bought beers with wax over the cap. Why?!?
These are the true demons. You can't even slightly pull the cork to help.
I’ve opened quite a few. Pulling the cap off as usual, ignoring the wax, has always been easy.
Really? I find I can't get any purchase on the crown without chipping at the wax, atleast when it's thick. Thin wax, absolutely no big deal.
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#99 Post by Scott AB »

Rick Bollig wrote: August 6th, 2021, 1:37 pm
Adam Frisch wrote: August 6th, 2021, 1:15 pm I have white labels with black text. My blue (and very pliable wax, I should add) is a graphic accent. It's the only color I have and it was carefully designed that way by a designer. Design matters.
Your wines don’t stick around long enough for the wax to harden, at least not in my house!
I don't remember if the wax hardened or not but here was my attempt at pulling the cork straight through the wax on a Sabelli-Frisch Flame Tokay.
IMG_20200512_181539.jpg
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Re: Why I (really, really) don't like wax capsules

#100 Post by Rodrigo B »

Scott AB wrote: August 9th, 2021, 9:42 pm
Rick Bollig wrote: August 6th, 2021, 1:37 pm
Adam Frisch wrote: August 6th, 2021, 1:15 pm I have white labels with black text. My blue (and very pliable wax, I should add) is a graphic accent. It's the only color I have and it was carefully designed that way by a designer. Design matters.
Your wines don’t stick around long enough for the wax to harden, at least not in my house!
I don't remember if the wax hardened or not but here was my attempt at pulling the cork straight through the wax on a Sabelli-Frisch Flame Tokay.

IMG_20200512_181539.jpg
That is the one downside of Adam's wax. It's so pliable that pulling the cork through it can sometimes be a challenge.

The best solution I've found is to completely remove it. Adam's capsules are soft enough where I can just cut vertically and completely remove them. So far, it has worked as almost a foil capsule. Comes clean off with no mess. Time will tell how that will behave over time though. If one is to do a wax capsule for aesthetics reasons, something like Adam's version would seem preferable.
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