May 11, 2006 Wine has been amongst man’s greatest pleasures for at least 10,000 years, having played a prominent role in the Phoenicean, Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilisations. Initially, the bitterness of wine spoilage was masked 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. We recently wrote about the Zork wine closure system, and now there’s another. Vino-Seal is a new glass closure developed by Alcoa as an alternative to traditional corks and synthetic stoppers for wine. With a design similar to a decorative decanter stopper, Vino-Seal uses an inert o-ring to provide a sterile seal, preventing contamination or oxidation. Whitehall Lane Winery of Napa Valley will be the first to use the new glass closure commercially.