You've probably already noticed that all your wine bottles are decorated with colored capsules. But have you ever wondered about their meaning?
In general, what is the wine capsule used for?
It is called leave capsule or CRD capsule for Capsule Representative de Droit. The capsule being the aluminum or tin skirt, while the leave adorns the top of the capsule. The information appearing on these capsules is regulated and obligatory: their primary use is legal. The presence of the capsule means that the alcohol taxes have been paid by the producer. Uncapped bottles cannot be sold on French territory.
What do we find on the wine capsule?
The leave is made up of a tax pawn and a crown.
We find on the tax token the effigy of Marianne, the words “DGDDI” (General Directorate of Customs and Indirect Rights, to which the taxes on alcohol were paid) and “French Republic”, as well as the capacity of the bottle.
The crown which surrounds the tax piece can be of different colors depending on the nature of the wine. It is also composed of a letter (or a word) surrounded by two numbers.
But then what does all this mean?
Let's start with the letter (or word): it corresponds to the status of the bottler. The letter R (or “Collectant”) means that the bottler has carried out the entire production chain, from harvesting to bottling. The letter N (or “Négociant) corresponds to the status of Non-Collecting, that is to say that the bottler purchased the wine in bulk before bottling it. That being said, if the bottling is done at the place of production, the merchant is then entitled to harvester status. Finally, we can also find the letter E , which designates an approved warehouse keeper, that is to say a trading house, cooperative cellar or a major brand, which buys the wine or grapes to market them in its name.
The number to the left of the letter designates the bottler's department, which is also often that of the producer.
The number to the right of the letter designates the bottler's administrative approval number. This number can be obtained from customs.
And the color?
You have noticed that depending on the bottle, the capsule has a different color...
The green capsules designate still or sparkling wines while the blue ones designate local wines and table wines. The orange capsules correspond to natural sweet wines, such as Maury and Banyuls, or liqueur wines, such as Pineau des Charentes or Port. The wine-red capsules can, for their part, be used as a substitute for the blue or green ones, except for champagnes and sweet wines, which keep their original color.
Finally, the golden yellow, gray, red or white capsules correspond to other products, such as cognac, armagnac, rum and other alcohols…
Now that you know everything about the meaning of capsules, you can shine at your future dinner parties. While giving a presentation of the bottle that you have opened. We count on you !