One of the first mistakes many people make in the new year is wasting perfectly good champagne. After popping the cork and pouring the bubbly at midnight, they leave the half-empty bottle out all night until it’s too flat for mimosas the next day. Considering the beverage’s premium price tag, it’s worth pausing the festivities on January 1 to preserve it.
Champagne owes its signature bubbles to carbon dioxide in the liquid. From the moment the cork pops, the gas gradually escapes into the atmosphere and the drink loses its effervescence. Opened champagne will never be as bubbly as the night you uncork it, but storing it in the fridge is an easy way to extend its lifespan.
According to Scientific American, the carbon dioxide in champagne is more soluble at lower temperatures. That means the dissolved gasses in your sparkling wine are less likely to escape when the liquid is cold. Covering the opening with a fancy stopper will help minimize the beverage’s contact with the air, but don’t sweat it if you don’t own one. Refrigeration can preserve the bubbles in your champagne for days, even when the bottle is fully exposed.
One thing that won’t save your bubbly from going bad is sticking a spoon in the bottleneck. According to this myth, the silver in a spoon has some magical effect on the bubbles in champagne that prevents them from escaping. The belief is so widespread that it’s been tested by wine researchers and the television show Mythbusters. Every experiment has concluded that the addition of a spoon to an open bottle of champagne has no effect on its longevity.
Another way to ensure your Dom Pérignon doesn’t go to waste is to finish the bottle the night you open it. Even when sparkling wine is freshly uncorked, there are some steps you can take to improve its quality. If you’re wondering what temperature to chill your champagne to this New Year’s Eve, this guide should help.
[h/t Scientific American]