Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 16:18 UK

Champagne corks on the way out?

Michael Schumacher spraying champagne after winning  the Spanish grand prix in 2002
The new metallic cork is expected to reduce production losses

A leading champagne producer plans to phase out the traditional cork in its bottles and replace it with a "revolutionary" metallic cap.

The design of the new aluminium stopper for champagne house Duval-Leroy remains a closely guarded secret.

But the new cork will, it is promised, still produce the familiar "pop" and spray beloved of generations of racing drivers on the winner's podium.

It will be presented at the London International Wine Fair in May.

The new device will first appear on a limited number of Duval-Leroy's Clos des Bouveries range to test market reaction.

A spokesman for the family-owned champagne house said their primary aim was to avoid incidences of cork tainting, according to the wine magazine Decanter.

Cork tainting occurs chiefly when a chemical known as TCA contaminates the wine, usually from the cork.

It is estimated that metallic screw caps account for 15% of still wine bottle closures worldwide.

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