October 29, 2005 Wine has been one of man’s greatest pleasures over the last 10,000 years, having played a prominent role in the Phoenicean, Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilisations with the latter responsible for beginning all of the major European wine producing regions, not to mention the wine barrel, the wine bottle and the basis of the current wine appellation system. For the first few thousand years, the bitterness of wine spoilage was overcome by flavouring the wines, and many different methods have been used to prevent spoilage, such as topping wine containers with olive oil, leather tied with vine, clay stoppers, oily rag closures and most successfully, cork. But cork is inconsistent and still has an unacceptable spoilage factor and ever since French microbiologist Louis Pasteur discovered wine spoilage was caused by microorganisms, the search has been on for the ideal closure system. More than a century later, around 10% of the 15 billion wines bottled each year with cork are spoiled. The screw cap has begun capturing market share in recent years but still labours under a downmarket stigma. Now another system looks set to make its mark. Many people believe the unusually named ZORK is the greatest advancement to winemaking since the treading of the first grapes. ZORK manufactures soft re-sealable wine closures that replicate the performance of a screw cap, but pop like a cork, all without the need for a corkscrew. Adding yet another aspect to the enjoyment of wine, it also effectively reseals the bottle.
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