DAVIS - University of California, Davis students have invented a way to bottle wine that combines the breathability of cork with the reliability and convenience of a screw cap.

The invention won the university's annual Big Bang business plan contest and $15,000 in startup funding this week.

The patent-pending design is a 5-cent plastic and metal disk beneath a screw cap. Like cork, the cap lets in just enough oxygen so the wine can age properly.

Winemaker and business school student Tim Keller says his team's invention can be adjusted for different wines. For instance, pinot noir needs a little oxygen, while cabernet sauvignon needs a lot.

Vintners want cork alternatives because cork can produce a musty-smelling compound.
Here's a link to KPIX story on this new invention.