What wax for wine?

hey there - i have a few random bottles that have less-than-ideal corks. nothing crazy leaking, but i got the idea of perhaps taking off the capsules, cleaning the tops and then topping with wax.

  1. is this a good idea? i.e., will it prevent/lessen any additional deterioration, ullage, etc.; and

  2. if so, where do i get that cool wax? don’t care about the color, but red seems standard.


Wax is quite oxygen permeable, so won’t do anything in that regard, but it does look cool. You can find bottle seal wax pellets at homebrew stores.

I say drink 'em! [cheers.gif]

Pretty cool idea on how to “fancy up” used bottles and use them as decoration. Any ideas on how to achieve the blacked out look or the inside of the bottle so it looks full? I know there is a company that does this, but a home set seems like a fun project.

we have a wax out here with a pine resin that softens the wax, making it less fragile. Like others said, it won’t do much but make it pretty. I say pick a random few and give them a try.

Bikini wax.

okay, so there’s nothing i can do with these bottles to make them safer for longer storage?? that seems – disappointing.

Well, the ideal approach is to use good new corks and re-cork the bottles. First, top up with a few mls. of the same of a similar wine and then use a new heat-shrink capsule for a really professional looking finish. But you would need a good lever-model hand corking tool (about $35 maybe), some new corks, metabisulfite to sterilize the corks and provide some anti-oxidant action, and heat-shrink capsules. You should be able to get all of this at a home winemaking supply place, locatable through Google. I did this some years ago on some Bordeaux bottles where the fill was just starting to go below the neck and they came out perfectly. Including two bottles of '82 Lafite, that were worth about $250 each at the time. Now they look perfect, but the capsule and cork don’t say “Lafite” anywhere! [head-bang.gif]

One simple thing you can do, if you can arrange it, is to avoid any fluctuation in temperature, as the expansion and contraction will encourage more ullage. I suppose you could tightly tape some aluminum foil over the existing cork and capsule to provide a more air-tight seal…

If you simply want to remove all oxygen from exposure to the dodgy cork, you could look into one of those vacuum packing sealers for preserving food. I don’t know if they have models/bags that go large enough to hold a wine bottle, but it would theoretically give you a hermetic seal, albeit around the entire bottle, which would have aesthetic detriment. My recollection is that the “bag” is actually a continuous feed roll that you are simply heat sealing on the edges after evacuating the gas from the package, so this should be workable with a bottle.


It has been widely reported that Jean-Marie Fourrier went to wax capsules to slow down oxygen ingress. Before I heard this, I had always understood that wax did not block oxygen, but his switch made me wonder.

indeed - that’s where i got the idea.

are we sure it’s as porous as a capsule?

My mother made blackberry jam, and put it up in Mason jars, with paraffin poured on top of the jam. It would last in good condition for a long time, years really. I do not recall if a metal screw-on lid was applied after the wax. But that wax was clearly there to perserve the product. Just FWIW.