At the BOJ Global factory, right in the heart of Gipuzkoa (Eibar), we have been designing kitchenware products for professional catering and households for over 100 years. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, the worm is the main element of the corkscrew, whose mission is to pierce the cork to extract it. We have to admit that for several years this small and simple piece has been causing headaches for our Product Development Department, managed by José Fran Aguirrebeña.
José Fran, what problems do professionals and users generally face when removing corks from their bottles?
José Fran — The main problem when uncorking a bottle of wine is the pressure that the cork applies to the inside of the bottle neck. In some cases, the worm pushes the cork down inside the bottle, making the cork lose its critical mass and become looser, whereas in other cases the opposite occurs, with the cork expanding due to excessive humidity. This leaves it in the neck but with much greater pressure than normal, and even if the worm penetrates it cleanly, when extracting it the worm will turn in the opposite direction without removing the cork, or it will break the cork and only extract part of it.
In the previous article, in the middle of the process of researching how to improve our worm, Aguirrebeña informed us about the different corks that are available in the wine sector and the reasons for the evolution in cork types. Now we can ask him, why has BOJ GLOBAL manufactured different worms?
J.F. — In recent years we have been forced to develop and manufacture a worm which is specially designed to open bottles with corks made out of polymers and thermoplastic materials, which in both cases are known as synthetic corks. These are now used in 2 out of every 10 corked bottles. These new components are taking hold quickly in the sector as it looks for more competitive prices. Furthermore, over this time we have not stopped manufacturing our most classic worm, which continues to extract natural corks made out of the bark of the Mediterranean Cork Oak and the latest trend comprised of natural conglomerates.
And he adds …
J.F. — We couldn’t sell worms for different uses on the market as this would confuse the consumer having to choose between then. So about a year ago we came up with a challenge, to develop a worm which met our wishes and those of our customers, opening all types of corks regardless of what they are made of.
J.F. — This idea seems simple at first, but in reality it is quite complex and involves an elaborate degree of technical difficulty. The research has involved everyone involved in the process, from the bottling by wineries and cooperatives, to the consumption of wine, wine bars, regular bars, restaurants, sommeliers, etc.
Tell us how the process of producing the new BOJ GLOBAL worm is going at the moment.
J.F. — Right now, following a serious investment in resources, hours of research and numerous trial and error tests by people we trust in the catering sector, we are proud to announce that BOJ GLOBAL has designed a worm which is able to efficiently uncork bottles of wine which have been bottled with any cork on the market. This new worm, named Special, has been entirely developed by the BOJ GLOBAL team and it is being used in the manufacturing process for our commercial corkscrews, as well as being available as a replacement part.
We are glad that it has been a success. What technical improvements will this new device bring to the sector?
J.F. — Technically, and for the curious amongst you, we can say that we decreased the angle on the tip of the worm, which helps to produce a penetration that is more precise and requires less effort, and the diameter of the central shaft. It is now slightly longer, broadening the contact surface to prevent corks from breaking. The side behind the entrance with an approximately 90º angle ensures total blockage, and lastly, the continuous serrated edge on this side facilitates the anchoring of the cork to the worm in order to obtain a smooth and continuous extraction, without having to force it by moving the bottle from side to side.
To all of this we have added a high-quality chrome surface finish that guarantees the functioning of the item for a long period of time, even under the intense usage conditions seen in the professional sector.
Do you mean that from now on, opening bottles will be a piece of cake?
J.F. — We have clearly gained ground in terms of facilitating the extraction of corks, but the most important thing continues to be the way in which the corkscrew is used, and logically its misuse can even lead to the worm breaking. For our wall-mounted BOJ GLOBAL corkscrews, we recommend always placing the bottle, fastened in the clamp, in a fully upright position before then lowering the handle in a continuous motion. This way, when you lift the handle, the cork will come completely out of the bottle.
Thank you José Fran for taking the time to talk to us about the intricacies of the Product Development Department at BOJ GLOBAL. We will let you continue with your good work on projects that will undoubtedly surprise us and become new breakthroughs in the sector.