Champagne has always been a symbol of luxury or of important events that ask for a special celebration. However, opening a bottle can become quite a tricky task to perform by even the most experienced ones. Champagne accidents are often and may not only ruin an event, but they can even kill you.
This fact drew the attention of Alcan Packaging, which has invested over €1million (about $1,330,000) in research in order to find a solution to the problem. It finally came up with the “Maestro” champagne stopper, an aluminum lever designed to make opening champagne bottles easier. The company is famous for also designing a wine screwtop, a gadget that seems to have annoyed the more traditionalist wine aficionados, especially French.
The “Maestro” is currently being tested by French champagne firm Duval-Leroy and it is said to be used on 2,000 bottles of its finest champagne. Carol Duval-Leroy, the one in charge with the 150-year-old family business, explained that the firm took up this device because it sees champagne as being “inventive as well as traditionalist.”
The Maestro uses a plastic cover to grip the bottle's neck. You simply have to pull the aluminum lever that then lifts the cap and breaks the seal. The designers even managed to retain the traditional “pop sound” associated with opening a champagne bottle. “At first we tried a screw top but found that the symbolic noise was not there,” Bruno de Saizieu, Alcan’s commercial director, recounts. “It was our priority to keep this specific and evocative sound of champagne opening.” he adds.
According to Saizieu, the main beneficiaries of this new gadget will be women, who usually avoid performing this risky job, and restaurants and airlines personnel who need to work safely and quickly. However, some critics have already expressed their concerns regarding the plastic seal that may affect champagne's taste.
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