Placomusophilia: A Hobby that Could Really Use a New Name

A fun read about champagne caps. I’ve been collecting these for years but never knew there is a name for that: placomusophile!

The Armchair Sommelier

Placomusophilia sounds like something that requires a course of antibiotics to clear up.  It’s actually a hobby — collecting the colorful, unique metal caps found on the tops of Champagne and other sparkling wine corks.  But the word, placomusophilia, makes me cringe.  And calling myself a placomusophile just sounds, well, sketchy.

-champagne-0033aa-lot-n17005Placomusophilia comes from the French words plaque, for plate, and muselet, which is the wire basket that holds a sparkling wine cork in place.  Invented by Adolphe Jacquesson (of Jacquesson & Fils) in 1844, the the muselet is a very important piece of wine gear. Prior to the muselet, corks were held in place with hemp twine and wax, which turned out to be rather unstable.  Corks had a habit of flying out of bottles willy-nilly.  This was somewhat problematic, because when a cork flies out of a Champagne bottle, it can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.  If…

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