Sealing wax has been used since the Middle Ages as a seal symbolizing a guarantee of authenticity for letters and documents which were sent around the world.
You may have seen one in real life before or perhaps, more commonly, in 19th century era movies and plays.
Over the centuries, this fascinating material has undergone important transformations and its use began to evolve into different usages, such as a seal for precious wine bottles. A substance very similar to sealing wax for wine bottles is shellac, an eco-sustainable material which was even more valuable than sealing wax.
1.Sealing wax is a mixture of resinous substances and dyes, which solidify when cooled, and are used as a sealant and for decorative functions. The wax mixture is first heated, processed and then left to cool to perfectly close containers that need to remain sealed.
2.Shellac, on the other hand, is a natural resin and has a chemical composition based on hydrocarbon substances called terpenes; it has been considered by many as a natural plastic.
As you may have guessed, shellac is the perfect solution to use as a sealing wax for wine bottles since it consists of natural materials that can be heated and molded for use.
Shellac on wine bottles
Since the 19th century, many wine producers decided to use sealing wax to cover and protect the cork of their precious wine bottles, for two reasons:
- to prevent exceptional wine from coming in contact with oxygen and causing it to potentially spoil
- to add to the aesthetic beauty and value of the bottle
The main reason why producers to this day decide to use sealing wax for their precious wine bottles lies in the Sealing wax's ability to keep oxygen from entering the bottle, preventing it from coming into contact with the wine.
But be careful! Once the wine is bottled, it is not recommended to immediately cover the cork with wax. Wine, in fact, needs a minimum amount of oxygen to complete its aging in bottle process and reach complete maturation. The micro oxygenation of the beverage is guaranteed by cork, but without wax.
Only once the wine has reached its maximum potential can the cork be covered with our sealing wax. In this phase of the wine's evolution, the wine no longer needs oxygen to mature having already achieved its peak of maturity.
The absence of oxygen from this phase onward is necessary to prevent the gradual degradation of the wine.
The sealing wax is therefore used to not only preserve the perfectly matured wine, but also to imprint the winemaker's signature on his wine, which to this day, stands as a guarantee of quality and craftsmanship.
Modern studies have led to the discovery of a similar substance which is much softer and leaves no residue. We are referring to the "shellac", which is the result of processing a "gummy-like" natural resin.
The bottles of Papa Vince wine are sealed with shellac after leaving the perfect amount of time to allow micro infiltrations of air to bring the wine to perfect maturity.
This fascinating shellac sealing wax substance not only adds character and value to your bottle of wine, it's also the ideal solution for all your special occasions!