I come to you today to tell you about something magical — a foolproof trick that will teach you how to recork champagne and store it for days. I find this magical for several reasons, the first and foremost being that it has to do with Champagne — or really, any sparkling wine at all. And, anything having to do with sparkling wine I find naturally has a certain allure and sophistication. It is immediately something I want to know about because sparkling wine — in any guise, be it a flute, a coupe, a cocktail, a spritz — is one of my very favorite things to drink.
Champagne is second only to water and coffee, which I guess technically makes it third. But it's first in my heart, even if it's third in the pecking order of necessity for functioning. Along with all other sane people, I turn toward a regular rotation of Aperol spritzes and sparkling rosé during the stretches of summer that are the most sun-soaked and Mediterranean.
And the rest of the year, I keep a bottle of sparkling wine on hand at all times just in case there is something to celebrate or a bad day to shake off, which, let's face it, there is at least a couple of times a month.
But, here is the trouble with sparkling wine: It is sparkling, and if you don't drink the whole bottle, it will go flat and subsequently go to waste. Here are two methods that will help you properly save and store champagne, while protecting millions of delicate bubbles.
Save sparkling wine using a spoon
Here comes the true magic: You don't need anything fancy to save champagne. All you need is a spoon. I learned this trick at least 9 or 10 years ago and have been using it quite effectively ever since. No one else I have shared it with has known about it already or has even remotely been able to explain it. Thus, magic.
Today I share it with you, and if you can explain it, well, I'm not sure I want to know. This is the trick: All you have to do is dangle a spoon, bowl side up, handle hanging down, in the top of the open sparkling wine bottle and leave it in the fridge. Seriously. That's it!
No other closures, no nothing, just a dangling spoon. I feel stupid even saying it. But, somehow, someway it works.
It works best with a silver spoon (because all magic works best with silver), but I have also had it work just fine with a plain old stainless steel spoon. Plastic, on the other hand, is no dice. The handle doesn't need to be touching the liquid or anything (if it is, you clearly haven't had enough of your wine and probably should have at least one more glass). You just dangle the spoon in, refrigerate, and leave it. It has not worked 100% of the time, but over the last decade of regularly drinking sparkling wine, and regularly taking multiple days to make my way through the bottle, I think it has only not worked three times.
That's a dang fine performance. If I have an open bottle of sparkling wine, it routinely takes me at least four days to finish it if I don't have someone else sharing it with me (what can I say, my husband stereotypically prefers beer. On a similar note, this same method has also worked for us with large bottles of beer we didn't finish in one sitting, like those fancy Belgian-types, for example). If I dangle in a spoon, the wine is still fizzy on all three consecutive extra days when I pour myself a glass.
So, pour yourself a glass of bubbly — and grab a spoon so you can save the rest — because this is a trick worth celebrating.
Coravin wine preservation system
If you're into gadgets — or maybe you have a friend who is super into wine — then the Coravin Sparkling Sparkling Wine Preservation System ($399) will come to the rescue. It's flashier, pricier, and all-around extra compared to the silver spoon method. But it too works. Here's how: the original Coravin Wine Preservation System allows you to pour a glass of wine without actually taking the cork out. This means that the wine inside the bottle never goes bad because it is never exposed to oxygen. It's a great gadget if you want to have a glass of wine but aren't planning to finish the bottle within two or three days.
The brand just launched a new version that allows you to open a bottle of sparkling wine, prosecco, or champagne and ensures that it will stay bubbly for up to four weeks. Not four hours or four days. Four *weeks.* The system includes three pieces: a Sparkling Charger, Sparkling Stoppers, and Sparkling CO2 capsules. To use it, open a bottle of champagne and uncork it like you always would. Fill a coupe or flute with as much bubbly as you want. Now the magic happens: place one of the stoppers on the open bottle and lock it in place against the beck of the bottle. "Charge" the stopper using the sparkling charger, which will ensure there is plenty of carbon dioxide inside the bottle. From here, store leftover champagne bottles in the refrigerator for weeks, preserving the airtight cork and preventing flat champagne altogether.
Budget-friendly champagne stopper
If you like the idea of using a gadget to save your champagne, but find that the Coravin is out of your budget, there are plenty of under $20 options. This bestseller from Amazon gets high marks from reviewers.