Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
A friend told me that preservatives are injected into wine corks through the foil capsule or plastic sleeve, as indicated by the small holes in the seal. This seems unlikely to me. Is it true?
—Catherine, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Those tiny holes in the capsule sure cause a lot of confusion! No, they are not a sign of something injected into the bottle, nor are they there to let the cork breathe.
Rather, those tiny perforations act as a vent to allow air to escape when the capsule is being put on the bottle. They allow for a tighter, wrinkle-free fit without any air trapped in the capsule.