Mythbusting Some Not-So-Sparkling Champagne Advice

No doubt many of us will consume our fair share of holiday bubbly. If you happen to end up with an opened bottle and just can’t find a willing mouth for it, what is the best way to store it? If someone advises, “Just stick a spoon in it,” you can now impress your guests with more than just your savvy choice of Prosecco, Cava, or true French Champagne. The folklore of preserving your sparkles by placing the handle of a spoon in the neck of the bottle has been debunked.

Mythbusting Some Not-So-Sparkling Champagne AdviceBesides being disproven on popular TV shows like Mythbusters, industry icons like Herve This, author of Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, have also performed experiments showing that with or without a spoon, an open bottle of Champagne loses its carbon dioxide at the same rate.

The Centre Interprofesionel des Vins de Champagne debunked the European tendency to go for the silver spoon in the bottle. Whether you are French and the spoon is fine metal doesn’t matter. The gas dissolves at the same rate whether you stick silver, stainless steel, or cheap aluminum in the neck of your bubbly.

Stanford University chemist Richard Zare recommends keeping your sparkling wine cold. Carbon dioxide is more soluble at low temperatures. Cold liquids retain dissolved gas better. He says that just keeping your open bottle of bubbly good and cold will retain the gas even without a stopper or spoon.

Those specialty stoppers made for re-corking your sparkling wines are great for keeping you from spilling liquid if you must travel with an open bottle. Just be wary of old kitchen tricks–and friends who won’t help you finish off bubbly.

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