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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Cork

At the turn of the sixteenth century, The Italians sealed their wine bottles by topping the wine with olive oil, which filled the neck of the bottle. When a fresh bottle was used for serving drinks, the host would after pouring away the oil, fill his glass first before his guests in case there were any drops of oil left in the wine.

One day in around 1568 Alexander Nowell, the Dean of St Paul's in London, left a glass bottle of beer with a cork stopper behind on a fishing trip. When he returned a week later to retrieve it and opened the bottle, he found “no bottle, but a gun, so great was the sound.” However he found the contents had improved, and some claim this to be the original of bottled ale in England

Dom Pierre Pérignon, the inventor of champagne, used cork stoppers made of the outer bark of an oak tree, which previously had been used by Spaniards to seal their wineskins. They replaced the existing hemp-wrapped wooden stoppers.

The corkscrew was invented by M.L. Byrn of New York in 1860. Its design was derived from a similar device used by musketmen to remove stuck bullets from rifles.

During World War a famous inhabitant of the Cheshire Cheese pub just off Fleet Street in London was a parrot. On Armistice night it repeated some 400 times its trick of imitating the pop of a champagne cork, before collapsing from temporary exhaustion.

The mosaic Homage to Mediterranean Life was created from 229,764 wine corks.

An agraffe is the wire cage that keeps the cork in a bottle of champagne.

The pressure inside a champagne bottle can launch a cork at 50 miles per hour - fast enough to shatter glass.

You are more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than by a poisonous spider.

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