Most of us know someone who puts an open bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge, with a spoon in the top to keep its fizz. Maybe you do it yourself. But does it really work?
Does putting a spoon in Champagne work?
Some people use a fork. Either way, many wine lovers around the world swear by this method of preserving Champagne bubbles.
But our experts can’t find any basis for it.
Gérard Liger-Belair, professor at University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and a leading researcher on Champagne bubbles, told Decanter.com that he doesn’t know where the spoon idea came from.
‘We’ve already done several experiments on this, and a spoon has no action on keeping dissolved CO2 in sparkling wine.’
Champagne expert Tyson Stelzer said that many people would be surprised that an open bottle will ‘still keep some fizz in the fridge for some days. And hence the misconception that a spoon works.’
So how do you keep Champagne sparkling?
‘A much more reliable method is to use a champagne stopper that provides a tight seal, and to keep the bottle as cold as possible,’ said Stelzer.
Liger-Belair suggests that the best way to keep champagne fizzy is to seal the bottle hermetically.
‘But even if you do this, it will nevertheless progressively lose its dissolved CO2 content, because dissolved CO2 will progressively invade the headspace made bigger above the liquid surface after having served a few glasses.’
Why sparkling wine is sparkling
Wine becomes sparkling by undergoing a second fermentation. This creates CO2, which makes the bubbles.
In the Champagne method, or ‘méthode traditionelle’, the second fermentation happens in the bottle. The lees (yeast) from the fermentation are then removed through a process called disgorgement.
The ‘tank method’ means the second fermentation happens in a tank and the sparkling wine is then bottled and sealed. Prosecco can be made in this way.
Once the bottle is open, the CO2 is released and that’s how the bubbles start to fade.
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