Essentially unchanged since 1894, the champagne bottle is a study in beauty, elegance, and scientific function. Everything about it, from the cork on the top to the indentation on the bottom, serves a crucial role in keeping your champagne safe and at its best.
The Cork Usually larger than corks used to seal wine, champagne corks are made in two parts: the bottom (inside the bottle) is a natural cork composite while the top (outside the bottle) is a mix of cork bits glued together. Corks are straight when first put into the bottle then swell when removed, creating the famous mushroom shape.
The Wire Cage The first champagne bottles used string to restrain the cork, but in 1844 Adolphe Jacquesson invented the metal cage system we still use today.
The Foil Foil was needed to deter rats and other pests from nibbling on the cork. Now it’s a decorative and traditional part of the champagne experience.
The Rim It’s there strictly to serve as an anchor for the wire cage.
The Glass The glass in champagne bottles is much thicker than that in wine bottles due to the pressure, which can be upwards of 70-100 pounds per square inch. The very first champagne bottles were not as thick and strong as they are today and bottles (especially when kept in volume in champagne cellars) were considered somewhat dangerous as they regularly exploded.
The Indentation The indentation in the bottom of the bottle isn’t a sneaky way of serving less champagne per bottle, but instead a means of keeping the pressure from building up near the bottom. Also called the punt or ‘kick-up,’ it helps redistribute the pressure to keep the bottle from exploding.
The process and wine style of South African “champagnes” is called Methode Cap Classique (MCC). Wine made in this style are produced by using similar processes of Champagne and it is of the same high quality.
Kumkani Brand News
One of the best South African MCC wines is the Kumkani Infiniti. This award winning sparkling wine has a pale straw colour with a fine, lazy bead. It has a creamy entrances with a complex and full persistent finish.