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High-Tech Screw Cap Invention

New device will eliminate "corked" wine

August 23, 2010

Could screw caps soon replace corks? Inventor Tim Keller has introduced the first high-tech screw cap.
In the battle against "corked wine," more and more wineries are turning to screw caps, which currently comprise about 10 percent of the market. Vinperfect, an entirely new version of a screw cap, regulates air into the bottle, which will allow winemakers to control how wine matures post-bottling.

Invented by Tim Keller, this new device contains an engineered gasket system that allows winemakers to specify how much oxygen enters a wine bottle over time and, consequently, how their wine develops in the bottle. VinPerfect relies on small holes punched in the top of the cap to admit the oxygen at a controlled rate. If the high-tech device is successful, winemakers will, for the first time, have control over the shelf life of wines.

The Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR), a cork-industry group, found that 0.7-1.2 percent of all wine is contaminated with trichloroanisole (TCA), and therefore is "corked," and Tim Keller hopes to lower that number. VinPerfect received its domestic and international patents in March, and will be commercially available in early 2011. Currently, winemakers can apply to be involved in the beta testing.

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