It’s a time-honored tradition that no celebration is complete without some bubbles, but that doesn’t mean champagne should be reserved just for special occasions. For those times I don’t want to polish off a bottle in one sitting, I’ve always wondered how to store leftover champagne without losing the bubbles.
There’s a hack for storing champagne that’s been floating around the internet for years and it only requires something we all have on hand: a spoon. I decided to give it a try to see if it was a legitimate way to save leftover champagne.
The Spoon Hack for Storing Leftover Champagne
After you come up with a reason to celebrate (it’s Tuesday, you submitted a proposal, you finally organized your closet…), enjoy a glass of champagne. Then take a metal spoon and place it in the neck of the bottle. (Some experts say a fork will do the trick too, but the most traditional and common utensil is a spoon.) Once it’s dangling inside—no need to actually touch the champagne—place the bottle in the fridge and let it chill overnight. That’s it!
Why the Spoon Hack Is Supposed to Work
When you put a cork in your white or red wine, you know the same great taste will be preserved tomorrow (and likely the next day). But since champagne can get flat, many people worry about how enjoyable it will be after it sits out. Apparently, the refrigerated spoon keeps the neck of the bottle cool, and when it comes in contact with the room-temperature champagne, it creates a plug that prevents the gas in the bottle from escaping.
South African wine company Kumkani gave the spoon trick a whirl to find out why it kept the champagne bubbly. “What we think is happening is that the spoon is acting as a radiator and when it hangs in the bottle, the air inside the neck of the bottle cools faster than the air inside a bottle without the spoon. Because we had measured the temperature drop inside each bottle, we could confirm this,” the brand said. “Now, colder air is denser than warmer air, so the bottle with the spoon gets a ‘cold plug‘ on top of the wine sooner than the bottle without the spoon. The weight of this colder denser air means that less gas can escape so the bubbles are preserved. In addition, cold bubbly keeps more of its carbon dioxide in solution than warm.”
So, Does the Spoon Trick Work?
Just in case this trick didn’t prove successful, I performed my experiment with a cheaper bottle of champs. (Life is far too short to sip bad bubbles!) I cracked open my go-to casual drinking bubbly from Whole Foods, La Marca Prosecco. I let it sit out for a bit before inserting the spoon, then placed it in the fridge. The next evening, it still tasted just as fresh!
To keep the science lesson poppin’ (get it?), I repeated the experiment for the next three days. By the third day, the bubbles started to fade, and by the fourth day, it was pretty flat. I was amazed at how the simple hack worked, though, and it gave me enough confidence to try it in the future with a nicer bottle of champagne.
Other Ways to Store Leftover Champagne
Despite my 100-percent-scientific testing, if you aren’t exactly sold on the method—if you read this article you’ll find that not everyone is Team Spoon— don’t sweat it. There are reusable corks made specifically for storing leftover champagne (don’t use your wine savers). Called “hermetic,” they’re made of metal (just like spoons!) and lock the pressure inside the bottle to preserve the bubbles. This set of two Winco Champagne Bottle Stoppers ($7; amazon.com) is a best-seller and definitely gets the job done.
It’s also worth noting that a nicer bottle of champagne last longer than inexpensive, budget-friendly options. And remember to always ensure your champagne is icy cold when you drink it (experts recommend serving champagne at a temperature of 47 to 50°F). After all, who likes warm bubbles—or worse, lukewarm flat champagne?
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