- sparkling wines
Jelinek Cork Group champagne corks are used by some of the world leading bottlers of sparkling wines and other pressure beverages. Champagne corks are perhaps one of the most difficult technical stopper to produce, requiring perfection in performance, appearance, and design. As with all of Jelinek stoppers and closures, quality control testing is an ongoing process to insure this perfection of Jelinek champagne corks.
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quality control testing is an ongoing process to insure this perfection of Jelinek champagne corks.
What makes champagne corks keep the “bubbles” in sparkling beverages?
Pressure beverages such as champagnes, ciders, sparkling wines, and some beers require a seal which prevents the escape of gases while at the same time preserving the correct gas pressure within the bottles. Champagne corks produced from natural cork are the perfect stoppers to achieve this critical sealing capability. Each cork is usually produced from several different types of natural corks. The main body of the cork is made of agglomerated cork grains bonded together by FDA approved binders. Laminated to this “body” are two or three natural cork discs which have maximum expansion characteristics. The usual diameter of a champagne cork is about 31mm and is compressed down to 18mm to fit into the bottle neck it is to seal. Once inserted the corks’ tendency is to continue to expand. This expansion causes the cork to maintain a constant pressure against the glass bottle neck, preventing the gas from escaping.
Can you explain the “mushroom” shape?
Champagne corks are “straight” before they are put into the bottle. The “mushroom” shape is a result of the inserted portion of the cork being compressed in the bottle. Once pulled from the bottle the lower part of that portion of the stopper (the natural cork discs) continues to expand shaping itself into a “mushroom”.
Before and After Picture of a Champagne Cork
Once a champagne cork is pulled can it be reused to seal the bottle again?
No, champagne corks cannot be reinserted because they continue to expand after being pulled from sparkling beverage bottles. The more a champagne cork expands the better it is.
Is there a special method of pulling a champagne cork out of a bottle?
The first rule is never point the bottle at yourself or at someone else while attempting to open it. There is a great deal of pressure within the bottle which often results in the cork “shooting” out of the bottle if care is not taken. This could cause injury, especially to the eyes. Although not meant to, never assume the cork will not “shoot” itself out without warning. Take precautions when opening any sparkling beverage. Never use a cork screw or any other utensil. Champagne corks are designed to be opened only by hand.
The following steps serve only as a guideline in opening sparkling beverages sealed with natural champagne corks:
- Remove foil wrapper and carefully remove metal wire hood by twisting the wire loop loose.
- Drape towel over the cork and bottle neck, and grasp cork firmly through the towel.
- With the other hand hold the base of the bottle firmly.
- Twist the bottle (not the cork) while continuing to hold the cork (and only pulling lightly on the cork in both directions).
- As the cork moves its way out of the bottle, the bottle pressure should be released slowly and gently. Continue to hold onto the cork until it is completely out of the bottle.
- Wrap towel around the bottle neck and prepare to pour.