Is the Champagne Cork Screwed?

I read with great interest today that De Bortoli Wines have introduced a new screw cap enclosure for Sparkling wine called Viiva™, which was developed in Australia by Guala Closures. It must have been quite a task producing the new screw cap, as it spent 5 years in development.


Innovation in the Champagne and sparkling wine enclosure world is a slow business, with the first bottles of Dom Perignon being corked with pieces of wood with oil-sponged cloth, and then plunged in wax. This seal did not maintain the pressure required to stop the bottles from leaking, so various forms of wire enclosures were used until the current form of wire enclosure with metal cap to hold the cork in called the muselet was pioneered by Adolphe Jacqueson in 1844.

There are some obvious benefits to having a screw enclosure on a sparkling wine, such as reduced risk of cork taint/oxidisation and the ability to seal the bottle back up easily but will this innovation spread? It’s not the first time in recent memory a wine company has attempted to use a different style of enclosure. Back in 2009, Champagne House Duval-Leroy announced they were going to begin selling bottles under crown cap (the same type of cap that seals a beer bottle). While they saw some success with the enclosure, it never really took off.

One of the pleasures of opening a bottle of champagne or sparkling for me is the ritual of removing the foil, removing the muselet and hearing the satisfactory pop of the cork as the bottle opens. Would you buy some of your favourite Champagnes and sparkling wines if they were under screw cap? Is it a welcome innovation or a novelty?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Author:Jeremy Bowell

Jeremy Bowell is the founder and editor of Taste Explorer. He also writes for,, and has featured in the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Living section. He is an avid connoisseur of all things food and drink related.
  • Noooo! Red and white wine is one thing… but champagne, oh, I’d miss that sound!

  • Aj

    Jeremy I just love the pop. Love that its an Australian innovation but would lament the loss of the cork in my French Champagne. Ok for sparkling but not Champagne