The humble wine cork receives modern twist

A re-sealable twist on the wine cork has been released after the world’s largest cork producer teamed up with the world’s largest glass container manufacturer to create an industry “game-changer”.

Amorim and Owens-Illinois spent four years and £4.25 million on developing the new product, called Helix, a re-usable cork opened by a quick twist of the hand.

The makes claim wine packaged in glass bottles with Helix cork stoppers showed “no alteration in terms of taste, aroma or colour”.

Carlos de Jesus, communications manager at Portuguese cork specialist Amorim, said the Helix, which makes the humble corkscrew redundant, “has the potential to be a game changer” for the wine trade.

Wine expert Tim Atkin MW said in his OLN column last week that at least 5% of wine bottles are corked, and with screwcaps increasing in popularity the Helix has been released in a bid to claw back market share.

The producers added that the Helix allows customers to retain the distinctive creak and pop sound and all the happy associations it triggers among consumers but which is lost with screwcaps.

Antonio Amorim, chairman and chief executive of Amorim, said: “Helix meets consumers’ growing desire for sustainability and quality, while delivering the brand building and premium image packaging wineries rely upon.

“We are delighted to offer the market not only a 100% renewable, modern product, but also a solution that enhances the wine drinking experience through opening and resealing convenience.”

Owens-Illinois European president Erik Bouts added: “The future of innovation is through collaboration.

“Helix is a proven example of what can be achieved for consumers and the wine trade when the world’s leading companies in glass packaging and cork work together.”

The Helix is targeted at still wines in the £5-10 bracket and has been released after trials with 12 wineries and market research in France, the UK, the US and China.

It is awaiting its first listing.