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Bassin de la Villette. Photo: Mary Shaffer


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Champagne for Blondes



The British press reports today on a revolutionary new closure for champagne bottles developed by Alcan (inventors of the screw-top closure for wine) and pioneered in the impregnable bastion of French tradition by Carole Duval Leroy, head of a 150-year-old family-owned champagne house. But where’s champagne without the characteristic “pop”? That was the biggest challenge, it appears. The “pop” is preserved by using a lever on the side of the neck, which means, says the Times of London, that the “traditionally male job is now open to le sexe faible.” I presume that remark was tongue-in-cheek. Plenty of voices have been raised in criticism, of course – the end of champagne as we know it has even been predicted. Richard Hesse