Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
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Dear Dr. Vinny,
I was recently given a Champagne bottle stopper as a gift. Does this product really help to keep the Champagne more bubbly?
—Amy, Portland, Ore.
I’m a big advocate of the type of Champagne stopper that has a rubber inner ring and two hinged sides to latch on to the bottle. These work great—they really do give an extra day or two of life to your bubbly (that is, for the rare times there’s any leftover bubbly). You can find many models that come in at about $10 or under. It’s a nice gift to receive (or give).
While you can sometimes stick a regular cork or rubber stopper in a bottle of sparkling wine, I think you’ll find that the extreme pressure created by the carbonation might force these closures out. That’s why the hinged stoppers are such a great invention—they really latch onto the bottle.
No matter what closure you use, to get extra life out of bubbly, you’ll need to keep it chilled in your refrigerator. I recommend storing all opened wine in the fridge, but it’s particularly important with bubbly wine. Bubble-making carbon dioxide is more soluble in cold liquid than warm, so if your bottle of bubbly gets too warm, the bubbles will force themselves out, giving you both a mess and flat bubbly.
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