The product development dilemma presented here boils down to a choice between the technical superiority of one closure (screw cap) versus the greater consumer acceptance of natural cork. There is still a risk of tainted wine due to corks, but the cork industry has substantially reduced the defect rate over the past decade. Readers are immersed in the decision process at Rodney Strong Vineyards, whether to use natural corks or metal screw caps on their wines.
Analytical tools recommended include Total Cost Analysis, the Weighted Point System for evaluating suppliers, and Cost of Quality. The case is very appropriate for advanced undergraduate and MBA-level classes. The case is designed to be taught in one hour class time with one hour of outside preparation by students.