Things Not To Do With or To Champagne

While I’m certainly a fan of the various alternative closures for wine, I’m not sure I like THIS IDEA.  And I’m sure I don’t like the idea conjured up by those depicted in the photo to the left.


What we’ve got here, essentially, is a promotional piece for the idea of replacing the traditional champagne cork with a bottle cap. The idea behind the replacement of the Champagne cork with a bottle cap is the same as most other alternative closures: prevent cork taint, that unfortunate spell that can affect a wine when the cork is contaminated by the biological menace know as TCA, or "Trichloroanisole."

As good an idea as this is, I have some real aesthetic problems with losing forever the POP that comes with opening a bottle of Champagne or Sparkling wine. I know. It has nothing to do with the quality of the wine under the cork. But for me, the "pop" that comes with the opening of Champagne is far more integral to the experience than the "pop" that results from the opening of a bottle of wine.

Perhaps it would be different if I drank more sparkling wine than I do.

The traditions associated with opening sparkling wines are often as important as the drinking. Consider the sabering of a bottle of Champagne. If you’ve never done this (essentially using a saber-like implement to slice off the top of a bottle of sparkling wine in dramatic fashion) then you really haven’t lived. Then there is the use of the Champagne cork as a projectile, an experience every bit as satisfying in many cases as the drinking of the wine.

Of course, there are some uses for the Champagne cork that are not recommended, Such as those illustrated here in photos. For the record, while pointing a bottle of Champagne at someone’s bottom and letting loose with the cork might seem fun, and even a reasonable use for the cork, this writer cannot recommend it.


One Response

  1. Cam Wheeler - August 7, 2006

    My personal preference is for the quality of the wine to be protected first and the ceremony of wine to come second.
    There is no glory or fun in the ceremony of tipping a wine down the sink that you have been looking forward to sharing with friends!
    Maybe my views are because from the very start of my interest in wine a couple of years ago, Australia was already full swing into screwcaps and crown seals/bottle caps were just starting to come into play. I’ve never experienced not having a choice of closure and never had to make excuses like tradition for the short fallings of cork.
    Isn’t all the ceremony associated with wine part of the problem with attracting young people into drinking and enjoying wine anyway? Bring on the crown seal for sparkling wine I say.

Leave a Reply