Packaging Digest

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Sommeliers cite benefits of tin capsules on wine bottles

How useful are pure tin capsules on wine bottles? The Tin Capsule Committee recently asked wine industry experts and master sommeliers what they thought at a tasting event in Napa, CA, in the fall of 2014. The bottom line: Tin capsules are not just a packaging component. They are an important branding and authentication tool that communicates quality.

Master sommelier Tim Gaiser says, “It’s either the first or the very last thing they look at and tin, to me, just means quality.” With tin capsules, says master sommelier Gilles de Chambure, “I love the way you can individualize the wine. And it’s one of the ways to sort of create an image and identify your brand, to tell the story of your wine.” Christie Dufault, a lead instructor for The Culinary Institute of America’s beverage program and former sommelier, agrees: “Every wine has a story and I think that’s conveyed in the packaging.” Peter Granoff, master sommelier, says, “The quality of the capsule makes a difference in the assumptions that the consumer’s making about the quality of the wine, even as they are not conscious that they are making that assumption.” Master sommelier Traci Dutton advises, “Don’t ignore that part of the package to save a few pennies.”

The event was hosted by Paul Wagner, owner and president of Balzac Communications, agency for the Tin Capsule Committee, and representing member Jeremy Bell. Participating in the interviews were master sommeliers Tim Gaiser, Peter Granoff, Paul Roberts, Steve Morey, Gilles de Chambure and Chris Blanchard; joined by Master of Wine Peter Marks; The Culinary Institute of America beverage director, Traci Dutton; and one of the lead instructors for The Culinary Institute of America’s beverage program, Christie Dufault.

As Wagner boasts in the three-minute video: “Pure tin capsules offer the best sensory experience because they have that color saturation. They have the richness of the texture. They cut cleanly. They are not sharp. They’re everything you want out of a capsule and that’s why the best wineries in the world use them.”

LISA MC TIGUE PIERCE
2015 January 21

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