Wax-sealed bottle of wine looks beautiful to the eye and seems hard to open. However, we have come up with an easy DIY guide to open wine with wax seal:
To open wine with a wax seal, first, warm the wax seal with the middle of your palm and gently twist it back and forth about twenty times to create warmth and friction. Then just plunge a corkscrew through the wax seal, and lift the cork slightly which will make the wax crumble. Thereafter wipe out the wax pieces from the opening. Thereafter, pull out the cork and open the bottle to enjoy.
We will go through the steps of opening a wax-sealed wine bottle in detail to ensure you get no contamination to the wine.
How to Open Wine with Wax Seal
Depending on the available equipment and the type of wax seal, You can either cut through the wax using a corkscrew knife similar to how you cut the foil. You can then peel off the top of the wax cap to expose the cork if the wax is cut cleanly.
For some wines, however, the wax used to make the seal is too soft to even care about cutting it with a corkscrew knife. In this case, you just use the corkscrew to pull off the wine’s cork as if the wax is not there.
In the second instance, you can just insert the wine through the wax and lift off the cork as you would do to a wine bottle without a wax seal/ top. You can easily open wine with a wax seal/ top in four simple DIY steps below:
1. Warm the wax seal
You can either start with this step if the wax top is a bit hard or bypass it altogether if the wax is soft enough to insert a corkscrew directly.
To open the wax seal on your wine bottle, warm the wax seal with friction and warmth. You can achieve this by gently twisting the wax seal on the bottle of the wine with the middle of your palm. In order to achieve the desired warmth and friction, twist back and forth for approximately 20 times.
The process of creating friction and warmth helps to loosen up the wax. The loosened-up wax is easier for the corkscrew bottle opener to penetrate and pierce at the center.
If you don’t want to carry out the warming process, you can just use the corkscrew on the wax without making it loose for example when working with the wines of Arianna Occhipinti. This is as described below.
2. Plunge your corkscrew through the wax
Once you have loosened the wax, you can plunge your corkscrew through the wax easily. The process is easier with loosened wax but can also be done with unloosened wine.
Once you have plunged in the corkscrew through the wax, twist down through the cork and penetrate the cork. The penetration process may create some wax crumbles that need to be cleared before opening the bottle.
The process depends on the type of wax used. Some will become loose with the rubbing and twisting process above while others may remain as hard even when the process is done.
3. Pull up the cork through the wax
Once the corkscrew has penetrated the wax at the center, twist down through the cork and pull up the cork. The process is easier if the wax seal is loosened up but does not mean that it will not happen if the wax is not loosened up.
The cork will easily pop straight through the wax. You should take care when opening bottles of wine that have been aged for a long time. This is because the older corks are quite fragile.
For these older bottles of wine, use the sharp blade on the corkscrew and cut through the wax to expose the top of the cork. This process can give you lots of wax crumbles if the wax layer is thick and thus you need to remove the bottle with care.
4. Pour the wine from the bottle and enjoy
Once you have pulled out the cork with the corkscrew, pour your wine into the right wine glasses and enjoy it at the right temperature. Be sure to check the foods that you are enjoying with your wine to ensure you get the best from your wine.
You need to learn the optimal temperatures for taking different wines. White wine is enjoyed when chilled while red wines are served at a temperature nearing room temperature. Thus, White wines, sparkling wines, and rosés are served at between 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit.
To enjoy your wine, take a small sip of the wine and swirl it in your mouth. This enables your taste buds to appreciate the taste of the wine. You can retain the wine in the mouth for about 5 seconds after which you can swallow the wine.
Be sure to enjoy the wine aftertaste. You should note that fine wines especially red wine taste stay on your palate for longer.
Why wine bottles are waxed/ dipped
The presence of wax on a bottle is also necessary to ensure that no matter how good the cork’s seal is, it cannot be perfect – unless it has an external cap to protect it. Corks are much better at sealing bottles of wine, even for long periods of time than wax.
Thus, sealing the wine bottle with wax reduces the necessity to re-cork the wine when stored even for decades. Moreover, the wax seal which most of the time is stamped gives you the trust that you are taking authentic wine since you can’t open and reseal the bottle without compromising the wax seal.
Other than giving you a secure seal and barrier, the wax top gives your bottle an aesthetically pleasing finish. This is unlike the cork and aluminum wrap which does not please the eye. The other benefit is that the wine wax seal helps customers to distinguish the regular wines and reserve wines.
Even though a few manufacturers still feel that a secondary seal is needed, wax is used for aesthetic reasons. It’s also a cheap and simple method to help keep mold from getting into the cork.
Hand-dipped bottles are difficult and costly to manufacture, so wax seals will only be used on aged, high-end wines. It may seem difficult to open a bottle with a wax seal, but it’s actually quite simple if you use modern wax seal materials.
In history, wax sealing was used for 2 purposes:
- To protect the cork from being destroyed by rodents in the cellar and other animals.
- To hide any leakages since the cork production did not produce reliable corks as seen today
Wine bottle wax seal stamp
Some of the wineries seal their wine with a stamped wax seal. This enables you to understand that you are taking wine from a trusted source since it is hard to open the bottle and reseal it while retaining the authentic look of the wine bottle.
Moreover, the wineries use a customizable Wax Seal Stamp which is hard to replicate since it comes with a deeply engraved popular Symbol in addition to the optional Custom text on the side of the emblem or middle according to the requirements of the winery.
The stamp is used on the wax seal during the corking process by stamping the top with a traditional wax seal stamp while the wax is still warm. The process is a delicate one since the sealing wax is melted in a pot and then the bottle opening is dipped into the wax bottle for the seal before stamping.
Built-in tab for removing wax
For newer types of waxing, you are likely to find the built-in tab to remove the wax easily and expose the cork for opening. However, the wax-sealed wine bottles that have been aged for years may not contain innovative technology.
The wax removal built-in tab works like the foil on a champagne bottle. It gives you an easy way of opening the wine bottle usually with a little risk of crumbling.
For the older wine bottles or the ones that are covered with the hard type of wax, it is hard to just use the corkscrew to open the wine bottle without removing the wax. An example is the Jura Chardonnay wines that do not have a built-in tab that makes clearing the wax easy during wine opening. Therefore, for these types of wine, you have to cut through the wax using the corkscrew sharp blade to expose the cork.
By following the steps above, you can easily open your bottle of white or red wine with a wax seal. The steps to follow depend on whether the wax is hard or a bit soft and the equipment available for the process.
You can therefore cut the wax top with a corkscrew knife to reveal the cork which then you can pull out using the corkscrew as normal. However, in soft wax seals, you can just plunge the corkscrew at the middle of the wax seal and twist it onto the cork and pull it out as if you have no wax seal.
Thus, enjoy your wine with a wax top by following the steps stipulated in this article to remove the cork at home easily.