Thursday, July 20, 2006

Put a Cap On It?

Domaine Chandon has announced some "unconventional" packaging for its etoile program. They will be using bottle caps (okay "crown caps" - it sounds sexier). This is yet another blow to corks and reminds me of a funny story I posted a while back.

7 Comments:

Anonymous RTodd said...

I love their "disgorging tool"!
I'd feel like a tool if I bought one, it's probably a $20 purchase & I doubt it would be an improvement over a regular bottle opener.
Can't fault them for trying to market yet another waste of money accessory.

I can't recall ever getting a sparkler with cork taint, but maybe it's not as detectable with that style of wine, and I don't drink it that much.

July 20, 2006 11:05 AM  
Blogger GollyGumDrops said...

It would be way cooler to crack the bottle open on the edge of the tble, or better still, in your teeth!

July 20, 2006 1:55 PM  
Blogger Deena said...

Wow, I'm surprised that it's safe to use a crown cap on Champagne. While it's true that beer and other carbonated beverages use crown caps, I was always under the impression that Champanges are under far more pressure than your average beer.

July 21, 2006 6:47 AM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

Deena,
That's a common misconception. As I pointed out in the Aug '04 post, Champagne is made using crown caps (and frequently a small plastic thimble called a 'biduelle' [sp?], which acts as a repository for the yeast & sediment during riddling). When the neck of the bottle has all the yeast & sediment, it's frozen, then uprighted & the crown cap is pulled off - shooting the frozen plug of sediment out of the bottle. At that point, the wine gets its 'dosage' of sugar syrup to adjust sweetness on the palate, and then receives the classic Champagne cork (or plastic cork), wire basket and foil.

If my memory's correct, a typical mid-weight Champagne bottle can withstand ~120 psi. I've seen over-pressurized bottles that broke during production, but I don't remember seeing a crown cap blow due to pressure. It's really a remarkable seal when you think about it.

Cheers,
Vini

July 21, 2006 7:10 AM  
Blogger Deena said...

Heh, you're right! I toured a winery once and saw the sparkling wine bottles while they were going through riddling, and they did indeed have the crown caps. Why didn't I think of that?

July 21, 2006 2:27 PM  
Anonymous lyle said...

I don't get it
Why break the cork tradition thing with champaignes when these corks are more suited for champaignes than crowns! I kinda like the cork better and crowns are harmful to the environment. Why don't we give mother nature a little respect.

August 17, 2006 11:31 PM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

Lyle,

That's worhty of a follow-up post of it's own. See my post of 8/29/06.

V

August 29, 2006 7:05 AM  

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