Patent application title: DEVICE FOR PRESSURIZING SPARKLING WINE
Frank Miyanaga (Arnold, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65B3104FI
Class name: Bottles and jars closures combined or convertible
Publication date: 2010-01-21
Patent application number: 20100012612
A closure device for introducing pressurized gas into a sparkling wine
bottle. The device includes a cap having two hinged arms for securing the
device onto an annular lip at the top of the bottle. A spring biased
shaped piston has a plurality of o-ring ribs at the lower end of the
piston which are retained at the top of the piston. A one-way valve
insert is screwed into the top of the piston. The shaped piston is
secured into the neck of the bottle and the device is held in place by
the arms. A spring within the cap holds the arms against the bottle. Gas
may then be added through the valve.
1. A sparkling wine closure device configured to allow gas addition
comprising:a shaped piston having a through bore and an upper shaft and a
lower shaft, the lower shafting having a smaller diameter cross section
than an upper shaft diameter cross section, the lower shaft having a
plurality of slots configured to hold o-rings in a tapering orientation;a
one-way valve secured onto an upper open end of the through bore on the
upper shaft of the shaped piston;an arm cap having two latch arms mounted
on a hinge, each latch arm having a curved retaining lip configured to be
retained on the annular lip of a sparkling wine bottle opening;a plate
retained at a lower open end of the arm cap, said plate having a center
hole through which the shaped piston may be fitted and secured; anda
spring retained within an interior of the arm cap between the plate and a
cap top of the arm cap.
2. The device of claim 1, wherein said one way valve is a Schrader valve.
3. The device of claim 1, wherein said shaped piston has two side facets on opposing sides at an upper portion of said shaped piston.
4. The device of claim 1, wherein said one way valve includes a valve cap.
5. The device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of slots includes three slots.
6. The device of claim 1, wherein said plate is retained against said shaped piston using a locking washer.
7. The device of claim 1, wherein said plurality of slots have equal width dimensions, but unequal depth dimensions, wherein an upper slot is less deep than a lower slot.
The present invention relates to devices for use with wine bottles, and more specifically to a device and method to preserve or refresh gas in sparkling wine.
Sparkling wines are carbonated alcoholic beverages. Consumers, restaurants, wine shops, and other serving establishments, may desire to open a bottle of sparkling wine but not serve the entire bottle. In commercial establishments, patrons may desire a taste or a glass of sparkling wine. The ability of a commercial establishment to serve tastes of wine would allow a consumer to sample a bottle prior to purchase. For expensive sparkling wines that are not familiar to a consumer, the ability to offer tastes enhances the sales and marketing of wines.
One limitation for the consuming of the wine is preventing the sparkling wine from going flat. Keeping the bottle chilled will help the sparkling wine maintain its carbonation for a short period of time. For longer periods of time, some additional solution is required.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,172,821 discloses a bottle closure including a central stopper portion configured to be retained within the neck of a bottle of sparkling wine. The stopper both allows a sealing fit and is sufficiently resilient to be displaceable. The interior bore of the stopper is a gas injection valve with a non-return valve. The top of the stopper flares outward. A dual flange retainer having a lower set of arms to be held on the flange of the bottle retains the stopper and an upper set of arms to fit over the flared top of the stopper. This separate device retains the stopper on the bottle and allows a fill mechanism to be introduced into the stopper.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,530,401 discloses a device to allow a gas to be introduced into a wine or sparking wing container. The device includes a resilient stopper to be retained with a wine bottle. A pair of plate springs and downward extending flexible arms allow the device to be retained on the bottle. A valve at the top of the stopper allows a gas from a gas source to be introduced into the bottle.
It is an object to provide a simple stopper device that would allow a gas to be introduced into a bottle of sparkling wine. This stopper device should be able to work at relatively high pressure to maintain the carbonation of the bottle. The device should work with conventional gas dispensing equipment.
The device is a sparkling wine closure device having an arm cap having a bottom plate spring biased within the cap. The arms may be lowered such that a curved retaining lip on each arm may be retained on an annular lip of a sparkling wine bottle neck. The spring biases the plate against the top of the arm cap and the top of the plate, retaining the cap in positioned. Mounted in the center of the arm cap is a shaped piston. The shaped piston has a one-way valve mounted in an upper end and a plurality of o-rings in a plurality of slots allowing a resilient tapering configuration at the other end. The shaped piston is secured onto the plate. The resilient tapering structured is retained within the neck of the sparkling wine bottle.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the closure device.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the closure device.
FIG. 3 is a side view of the device of FIG. 2 secured onto the open end of a sparkling wine bottle.
FIG. 4 is a cross section of the shaped piston component.
FIG. 5 is a side view of a device to aid in the insertion of the closure device into a bottle.
With reference to FIG. 1, the exploded view of the device shows the shaped piston 30 and the valve insert 20. External threads 26 on the valve insert 20 screw into internal threads on the shaped piston 30. A nut 22 on valve insert 20 and facets 38 on shaped piston 30 allow valve insert to be secured into shaped piston 30, using two wrenches for assembly. Upper external threads 24 allow attachment of gas supply equipment to attach to the valve. A valve cap 10 may be secured over valve insert 20. Internal threads 14 allow valve cap 10 to be received onto the external threads 24 of the valve insert. A cap grip 12 allows removal of the cap. At the end of one way valve insert 20 is a gas passage 28, allowing the injected gas to be introduced into the central bore of the shaped piston.
The shaped piston is shown in greater detail in the cross sectional view of FIG. 4. Shaped piston 30 includes an upper shaft 90 and a lower shaft 92. The transition between upper shaft 90 and lower shaft 92 is annular lip 89. Internal threads 80 allow attachment of the shaped piston to the valve insert as described above. The facets 38 on opposite sides of upper shaft 90 allow a wrench (e.g., a 5/8 inch wrench) to be used on the shaped piston for attachment of the valve insert 20.
The lower shaft 92 includes three o-ring slots, an upper slot 84, a middle slot 86, and a lower slot 88. In this illustrated embodiment, each of these slots has the same width, but the depth of the slots varies. The upper slot 84 is the most shallow, the lower slot 88 is the deepest, and the middle slot 86 is an intermediate depth between the upper slot 84 and the lower slot 88. When 3 o-rings of the same size are inserted into the slots 84, 86, 88, a tapering structure is formed. The shaped piston is made of a non-resilient material (such as machined aluminum) and the o-rings are made of a resilient material (such as a resilient, rubber-like polymer). This tapering structure allows the closure device to be retained within a sparkling wine bottle. Bottles having various size openings may be securely closed with this device. In one exemplary embodiment, the difference in depths is 0.06 inches. Because wine will react with aluminum, the part may be anodized or otherwise treated to prevent reaction with the closure device.
Returning to FIG. 1, as noted above, the o-rings 46, 48, 49 are secured into slots 32, 34, 36 on shaped piston 30.
Bottom plate 62 has a central hole allowing it to fit over the end of shaped piston 30 and be retained against lip 89. Plate 62 is then locked in place by retainer washer 42. This attaches shaped piston 30 to plate 62, making these two components move together. Flat o-ring 44 is then fit below retainer washer 42. Bottom plate is secured by retaining clip 62, which fits into lip 59 of arm cap 50. A clip ensures that plate 62 does not come out of arm cap 50, but may move up within cap 50. Spring 60 is located within arm cap 50, positioned around shaped piston 30 and retained at an upper end on top surface 51 on arm cap 50 and at the lower end of spring 60 by plate 62. Thus plate 62 is biased downward, but may move upward if force is exerted on the bottom of plate 62 and top surface 51 of arm cap 50.
The arms 54, 52 of arm cap 50 are attached at two hinges 58 on opposite sides of arm cap 50. Each of the arms has a curved shaped and a curved retaining lip 56.
With reference to FIG. 2, the cap closure is shown. As noted above, at the upper portion of the shaped piston 30 a one way valve insert 20 is secured. The closure cap 55 has two side latch arms 52, 54 to allow the cap device to be secured to a lip of a sparkling wine bottle at the opening of the sparkling wine bottle. The latch arms 52, 54 are secured by a hinge 58. At the lower end the shaped piston 30 are a tapering structure formed by o-rings 49, 48, 46. The flat o-ring 44 is seated against retainer washer 42.
With reference to FIG. 3, the arms 54 and 52 are shown locking the device onto an annular lip 72 at the top of wine bottle 70. The curved retaining lip 56 on each of the arms secures the cap onto the bottle. An insertion device shown in FIG. 5 may be used on the top of the closure device to aid in inserting the device. The bottom tube section 100 fits over the top of the shaped piston, the top cap 102 is gripped by a user's hand. This provides a broader surface for pressing down as the closure device is inserted.
When the device is inserted, o-rings 46, 48, 49 will be frictionally retained within the neck of the bottle. As pressure is applied to the top of arm cap 50, the spring will compress, allowing shaped piston to move within the cap. The arms are then lowered over the annular lip 72 of the wine bottle, and the arm cap 50 covers the top of the bottle. The only passage into the bottle for gas is through one-way valve 20. Standard gas providing equipment may then be used to supply gas into the bottle.
It has been found that either air or CO2 may negatively alter the taste of sparkling wine. It is preferred that an inert gas, such as Argon or Nitrogen be added. The valve stem incorporated into the shaped piston allows use of standard gas dispensing equipment. For example, a standard Schrader valve may be used. A gas tank which a regulator is then used to pressurize the opened bottle of sparkling wine with 60 psi of inert gas. Between 55-120 psi may be used to pressurize the bottle. To pour additional sparkling wine after the closure device has been secured onto a bottle, the arms are pivoted to the sides and the closure device removed from the bottle, much in the same manner as would be done with the opening of a fresh bottle of sparkling wine.
This invention could be characterized in a number of ways. The first is of a device for closing a bottle of wine. Second, the device enables a new method of preserving or reintroducing carbonation into sparkling wine. The invention could also be seen as the way of making this device. The arm cap, sold with a closed top surface and a solid bottom plate, is a currently marked device. By slightly modifying the arm cap with a hole in the top for receiving the shaped piston, and adding a hole in the lower plate, the currently available closure caps may be used with the shaped piston. The remaining parts (valve stem, o-rings, locking washer, etc.) are all commercially available parts. The shaped piston, which may be machined, is the only part that must be specially manufactured.
The amount of psi pressure in the bottle can be checked by using a common pencil air gauge which is the same method used to check air pressure in an automobile tire. The pencil air gauge is to be used to depressurize the bottle before removing the bottle cap. For safety reasons, the protrusion on the head of the air gauge is inserted into the Schrader valve to release pressure from the bottle.
Patent applications in class Combined or convertible
Patent applications in all subclasses Combined or convertible