Wax Capsules: Just a screwtop equivalent with a risk of cork taint?

I like the look of wax capsules, when not overly ostentatious.

However, the wax must simply seal the bottle, making it as inert as a screwtop bottle–but still permits the potential of cork taint given the standard cork closure beneath the wax. Or am I missing something? Do some waxes permit some oxygen transfer? Any science behind this? If the wax ‘capsule’ truly prevents oxygen exchange then this is a bad idea as ‘aging’ is impaired but the potential for ruined wine (cork taint) could still exist.

winemakers, scientists: your thoughts are welcome here.


There’s conflicting information on the oxygen permeability of wax seals, but twist offs like Stelvin offer a controlled amount of oxygen:


Frankly I don’t understand why they aren’t more popular by now.

I despise wax capsules. Way too much trouble. I guess if I bought bottles to look at they do look cool and I suspect that is why producers use them, a little marketing edge. I think someone said they are cheaper than foil capsules.

They may be cheaper than foil capsules, but they cost more in labor.

“As inert as a screw top” is a false comparison. Screw tops allow controlled oxygen passage.

thanks for the info re: Stelvin. Interesting.

Does anybody know: are some waxes partially oxygen permeable or do they all render the wine impermeable to atmospheric influence?

Waxes used in wine are all oxygen permeable, was my understanding.

Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Capsules and wax both are a waste of resources and do nothing to protect the wine.

Stepping off my high horse now.

I’m 100 points on this.