The ideal wine bottle stopper must satisfy a variety of criteria, many of which appear incompatible. Stopper material must be compressed into the neck of a bottle, then expand to protect the wine from oxygen. It must be easy to extract and reinsert, but durable enough to last for decades. The stopper must be able to survive direct contact with the wine without imparting any unpleasant aromas or flavors. It must also be an affordable product accepted by the consumer.
For the full article, check out the new issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands October 31, 2001.
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