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How to Choose the Right Sized Closures for Sparkling Wine

When your consumers pop a bottle of bubbly, doing so with high quality closures makes all the difference in the world. That’s why Scott Labs partnered with ICAS and Relvas over 40 years ago to be the exclusive distributor of their high-quality sparkling wine corks and wirehoods for the North American wine community.

When it comes to choosing the right closures, there are many options and a few key factors to consider. Here we break them down for you to help ensure you make the right decision.

Relvas Sparkling Wine Cork & ICAS Wirehoods

The most important thing to remember about wirehoods is that the size of wirehood you purchase depends on the size of your cork, not on the size of the bottle. This is a common misconception and something that can yield problematic results down the road. It is also important to make sure the belt of the wirehood sits just under the take-up ring when applying cork and wirehood.

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In the diagram on the below left, the highlighted number represents the internal diameter at the top of the bottle (17.5 mm). Relvas standard 30x47 mm sparkling wine corks are designed to work with bottle ID’s anywhere between 16.5 mm and 17.5 mm. 17.5 mm is standard for a domestic sparkling wine bottle.

French sparkling wine bottles are typically around 16.5 mm (see below diagram on the right):

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Other Key Considerations

  • Pressure: traditional sparkling wine hovers around 6 bars of pressure but some are less. When choosing a traditional sparkling wine cork and wirehood as final closures the pressure inside the bottle will be a key factor in determining the size of the cork.
  • Cork grades: Scott Labs carries Relvas sparkling wine corks in multiple grades including 2F (middle grade) and 2S (higher grade). Lesser grades tend to have more visible imperfections, but it’s important to consider the retail price of your wine when choosing a grade. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Crown Caps & Bidules

Crown caps and bidules are used during the second fermentation of the traditional method or “Methode Champenoise.” Crown caps can also be used as the final closure when making other less carbonated wines, such as Pet Nat for example.

Pe.Di crown caps can be a great option for bottling your bubbles. When choosing crown caps, remember that unlike corks and wirehoods, the size of the crown cap will be the same size as thefinish of the bottle.

The example image below is from a supplier’s bottle drawing. While these can be confusing to look at, the main number you want to look for when considering crown caps is the Finish Designation, which is also the size of the outside top of the bottle. This number will either be 26 or 29:

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Click here to learn more about our complete range of cork and wine closures.

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