There is always a lot of heated discussion about corks in the world of wine. Between cork - with all its poetry and tradition - and the screw cap that is so fashionable today is the crown cap. Let's see what there is to know about the cork which, despite its regal name and the fact that it is highly collectible, is in fact the most snubbed in the world.
The crown cap evokes different images: from the summer drinks of youth to the home winemaking of grandparents, to summer evenings with friends and various beers. Even the world of wine uses the crown cork: let's see when and everything there is to know.
What is a crown cap?
It is a cap made up of a metal capsule , which is attached to the mouth of the glass bottle using a capping machine. A thin plastic gasket , placed under the internal metal part, allows for watertightness.
Who invented the crown cap?
The crown type was patented in 1892 in the United States, by William Painter. The research for this closure arose from the need to extend the life of carbonated drinks.
A curiosity: the invention of the crown cork favored the normalization of the dimensions of bottle necks.
Which wines do the crown cap close to?
Very widespread in the world of beer, the crown cap is a closure method that almost always identifies a special category of wine: refermented in the bottle .
As for "passage" corking, the crown cap is used in the production of classic method sparkling wines: it is used in the secondary fermentation phase. It is needed when liqueur de tirage is added to the base wine to start the second fermentation. The crown cap hermetically closes the bottle, it will then be removed when disgorging.
- Read also: finding your way around sparkling wines, in 6 steps
Advantages of the crown cap
It is a very practical closure method, easy to open and technically perfect: it guarantees maximum sealing without any interaction between wine and air and naturally avoids the annoying problem of TCA ( it tastes like cork ). It is recyclable.
- Read also: what you wanted to know about the screw cap
Why is it still viewed with suspicion in the world of wine?
The world of wine is wondering about the opportunity to extend the use of the crown cork, and there is no shortage of winemakers experimenting with closing the same wine with different corks, including crown corks, to understand the different evolutions. From a technical point of view it is perfect, certainly not useful for all wines but excellent in particular for wines that do not need to evolve, that is, which do not benefit from even minimal contact with the air. Think for example of sparkling wines, especially the Charmat methods, but also of white wines which are not characterized by long refinements.
Having said this, the critical point is the absence of charm in the opening gesture: we enter the field of the rituality of the gesture and historical stratification. In a word: tradition.