For those occasions when there are just too many bubbles and too little time, fizz fans have invented a range of tricks to hang onto their wine’s sparkle – but which of them can you really rely on?
There’s no better sound than the ‘pop’ of a cork as you release the delicious fizz from one of your Bubble Box bottles. But as all bubble lovers know, the effervescence doesn’t last forever and, while we have to admit it’s not often that we find ourselves with the dilemma of having leftovers (we’re a thirsty bunch!), even we have experienced the odd occasion when there’s a delicious bottle of sparkling wine that we can’t quite finish in one go.
The last thing you want is to have to face pouring the wine away, so how to preserve the freshness and fizz of a bottle that you want to come back to later? Bubble-lovers are a resourceful bunch, and ingenious tips and tricks of all sorts abound, but it can be difficult to decipher which ones work and which ones simply fall flat. Here’s a look at some of the top bubble hacks out there, and whether they’re magic – or myth.
The most obvious advice for keeping your sparkling wine sparkling is to use a champagne or sparkling wine stopper. They’re not too expensive to buy online, and it’s probably the safest bet for preserving the effervescence for longer. It’s important when buying a stopper to make sure it’s specifically designed for sparkling wine; a regular wine stopper will be forced out of the bottle by the bubbles! However, the need for fizz often strikes suddenly, and a stopper isn’t always on hand! It’s in these times of spontaneous bubble consumption that it takes a more ingenious trick keep things fizzy…
One trick that’s been around for ages includes putting a teaspoon handle-side down into the neck of a wine bottle in order to keep it bubbly for at least an extra day. The opinions on this one are split, however, with many bubble lovers touting the brilliant success of their spoons, while others dismiss it as an old wives’ tale.
Science, too, seems to have debunked this hack, with various studies disproving its effectiveness. One study, conducted by Stanford University chemist Richard Zare, found that there was no significant difference between leaving your sparkling wine uncorked or with a silver spoon in the neck. The American TV programme Mythbusters also tackled the issue, and found the results equally disappointing.
So while many may swear by this trick regardless of the science behind it, there are a couple of other methods to try to make sure your bottle stays bubbly for as long as possible.
Cling Film & Rubber Bands
Though not as widely practiced, much like the silver spoon trick, this tip relies heavily on the positive experiences of fizz lovers rather than hard facts. The thinking goes that if you stretch a bit of cling film over the top of the bottle and seal it tightly with a rubber band, it will work the same as putting a stopper on the bottle to keep the air trapped inside. Perhaps not the most glamorous of solutions, but we reckon it’s worth a try!
Last, but not least, we have the most useful tip on the list. It’s an easy fix that won’t work miracles, but you’ll be surprised how much of a difference it makes.
Often, when we open our wines, we leave them out for easy access. This exposure to warm air is one of the main reasons why our sparkling wines tend to lose their bubbles so quickly. It’s amazing how keeping your sparkling wine cold can extend its fizziness for hours – even days – at a time. Whether it’s investing in an ice bucket or simply popping the Prosecco back into the fridge, the key to a bubbly drink is keeping the wine consistently cold.
We’ve got science to thank for this one. According to Zare, the Stanford chemist, in many liquids carbon dioxide is more soluble at low temperatures. This is why cold liquids better retain their dissolved gas. Many sparkling wines have lots of carbon dioxide in them in order to remain bubbly, so if they’re kept in the fridge they can last for days, even without a stopper. The key is never letting the wine get warm. If the fizz is kept cold from the moment it’s opened you can enjoy your bubbles all week long.