Wine Words Demystified – Muselet

You know the deal; the more some folks learn about a topic, the more shortcuts/slang/acronyms/initials/technical jargon can be tossed around.  I’m here to help you understand those sometimes mysterious words and phrases, thus – Wine Words Demystified!

This week’s word is Muselet

According to Karen MacNeil‘s The Wine Bible:

The wire cage holding a Champagne cork onto the bottle.

This is a French wine term (from the French museler, “to muzzle.”).  Here in the U.S. we refer to a muselet (pronounced mew-zeh-LAY) as the wire thingy;-)  It was invented by Adolphe Jacqueson in 1844 !

Image courtesy of

One of the joys of writing this blog for me, is that I discover so many things right along with you, as I research my topics.  I found the following interesting:

  • According to Champagne and Security (see link below), it always “takes 6 turns if you do by hand, or 3 if you count full 360 degree turns.” to fully loosen the muselet.  I’ve never noticed that before!   Have you?   The next bottle of bubbly I open, I’ll definitely be paying attention.
  • A person who collects champagne capsules (the thin piece of metal between the top of the cork and the muselet is called a “placomusophilie”.

There you have it!  The next time you open a bottle of bubbly, pay attention to how many turns it takes to loosen the muselet.