Dezeen Magazine

A silvery champagne bottle with red details

Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar is "first champagne bottle designed for space travel"

Designer Octave de Gaulle has wrapped a glass bottle in an aeronautical-grade aluminium shell for French champagne house Maison Mumm, to allow champagne to be drunk in space.

Maison Mumm created the Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar champagne, which will be served on privately-owned space exploration company Axiom Space's flights, to be "the first champagne bottle and tasting experience designed for space travel and human spaceflight".

It will be contained in a bottle designed by De Gaulle, who is the founder of an agency that specialises in designs for space named SPADE, with technical support from the French space agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the Comat design office.

A silver champagne bottle on a pastel background
Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar was designed to be the world's first space champagne

The "high-tech" bottle was designed to face space-specific issues including how champagne behaves in the absence of gravity, while still adhering to the regulations set by Champagne AOC – the drink's regulatory commission.

The regulations state that champagne has to be stored and transported in glass and corked with a traditional "mushroom" cork.

In response, the Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar is contained in a 375-millilitre glass bottle that is secured by a stainless-steel opening and closing device. It sits inside a shell made from aeronautical-grade aluminium, which was designed to protect the bottle.

"The safety being paramount in manned space flights, the design has to integrate redundancies to be compliant with the applicable rules," De Gaulle told Dezeen.

"Those rules state that for a pressurized liquid container (such as a champagne bottle), a second protective layer is to be provided in the design in case of failure of the first one. This is typical of all space material," he added.

"A failure of the glass bottle, even if not probable, could result in glass shattering in the habitat, which is not acceptable."

Silvery aluminium champagne bottle
Its long neck has a ring protecting the cork

The bottle's upper part consists of a long neck, topped with a ring that retains the cork and locks the bottle's stainless-steel mechanism. This prevents the cork from popping and allows the bottle to be safely uncorked.

In addition, the shape will also help serve the champagne in space.

"After uncorking, when pressing the button located at the bottom of the bottle, the champagne exits through the neck and gathers in the ring that once held the cork in place," de Gaulle explained.

"When a sufficient amount of champagne has exited, a small movement of the wrist separates a sphere of Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar champagne from the ring that is then gathered by our specially designed glass and ultimately tasted by the astronauts."

Despite its futuristic look, the bottle aims to let users recreate the usual champagne-tasting experience.

"The design and shape are similar to a traditional champagne bottle and reproduce as faithfully as possible the ritual of champagne tasting," de Gaulle said.

"For example, while pouring is not possible anymore in zero-G conditions, the button that is used to serve (e.g. to force champagne out of the bottle) is located in the bottom of the bottle of Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar," he added.

"Thus it reproduces a typical gesture of champagne service: with the thumb at the bottom of the bottle."

Champagne bottle in aluminium with ring over cork
Once uncorked in zero-gravity, the champagne gathers in the ring

As well as adapting the bottle design to suit the extraterrestrial surroundings, Maison Mumm chose a blend for the champagne itself that would be suitable to drink in space.

In space, the bubbles of the champagne don't rise to the surface, which means they don't release their aroma molecules, the brand said.

To create a drink that would work well on space travels, the brand chose "a blend of Mumm Cordon Rouge made with grapes from the 2016 harvest, which includes a majority of Pinot Noir and is supplemented with reserve wines from the past five years".

It says this blend will keep the champagne's signature characteristics even in tasting conditions where the senses are altered.

Back of Maison Mumm champagne bottle designed for space
Maison Mumm and Octave de Gaulle created the bottle to fulfil the ritual of champagne tasting

The Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar will be onboard Axiom's upcoming missions to the Axiom Station – which was designed by Philippe Starck and is currently under construction – and has been given full compliance with space requirements set by the CNES.

"Axiom's collaboration with Mumm and the Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar recognizes that to bring humanity to space we can't just bring humans, we need to bring human traditions," said Michael Suffredini, Axiom Space's president and CEO.

"This philosophy of celebrating humankind empowers our goal for Axiom Station, a next-generation destination that will serve as a thriving home in space to enable a diverse space economy, further exploration and enable more of humanity to access space."

In the past few years, there have been numerous designs created for space tourism as the focus on the phenomenon has grown. Dezeen has recently rounded up ten space-tourism-related designs, including a space suitcase, and looked at the design of the "world's first" space lounge.