Want to keep your bubbly bubbly? The accepted rule for keeping you champagne fresh after it’s been opened is to put a teaspoon in it. Australian journalist Andrew Bucklow, reporting for news.com.au, set out to determine if this urban myth was real or fake—after he followed the advice himself (just in case it worked).
Here’s the low down. According to Chris Sheehy, the prestige manager for Pernod Ricard Australia, the spoon trick isn’t based on reality, it’s just wishful thinking. “Truthfully,” says Sheehy, “the teaspoon has zero effect.” Sheehy went on to explain why people have believed this old wives’ tale for so long. “The theory is that you put a cold spoon into the neck and that makes the air around the spoon colder, so more dense. Because it’s denser, the bubbles won’t escape past it, so it’s almost like an air blanket that sits on top of the bottle so that the CO2 stays inside the bottle.”
Well, when you explain it like that, of course it wouldn’t work.
Sheehy’s knowledge on the matter comes from years of experience. As the prestige manager for Pernod Ricard, Sheehy has had plenty of opportunities to put the practice to the test as he has held Mumm champagne tastings all over Australia. “We’ve looked at different ways and methods to keep champagne fresh and the old spoon in the bottle trick always comes up the same as if you just leave the bottle in the fridge with nothing in it at all.”
Sheehy does have some advice on how to keep your champagne, though. “If you do have some left, the most important thing is the temperature. You should never let the bottle warm up and then chill it down again. If you can keep it cold at all times, that will hold the bubbles/carbon dioxide in the liquid.” Sheehy recommends closing up the bottle with a stopper after opening it.
Sheehy also points out that the longer the bottle is open, and the less champagne there is in it, the more likely that it will go flat. “The rule of thumb for me is if you’ve got one glass left in the bottle then don’t even try to save it, just enjoy it,” says Sheehy.
So keep the spoon in the drawer and use a stopper instead. Or, better yet, just finish the bottle off.