You’ve been storing sparkling wine all wrong – ‘it was a myth’

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Once you’ve popped a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine, the beverage is usually best consumed within a few hours when it’s at its most bubbly. If left open for too long, the bubbles can soon die down, which can take the fun out of drinking sparkling wine.

You may have heard anecdotal stories about using a spoon or fork to maintain the effervescence, but according to Jessica Summer, a cheese and wine pairing expert from Mouse and Grape (@MouseandGrape on Instagram), this might not necessarily be the case.

The hack suggests that you place a teaspoon or fork, handle down, into the bottle’s mouth to preserve bubbles for a couple of days.

Jessica explained: “I had heard that keeping a metal spoon or fork in an opened bottle of sparkling wine keeps it fresh, but I tried out this method and it was a myth.”

She added: “The best way to preserve a sparkling bottle of wine once opened is to use a specific sparkling wine or champagne bottle stopper.”

Some experts suggest that you may also be able to preserve some of the fizz by making sure your champagne or wine is kept cold.

Champagne expert Tyson Stelzer told “Many people would be surprised that an open bottle will still keep some fizz in the fridge for some days. And hence the misconception that a spoon works.”

As well as making sure to preserve open bottles of wine, Jessica told that using the right glasses can also elevate the drinking experience.

She said: “As well as preserving your wine, it is equally as important to serve your wine in the correct glasses and at the right temperature to enjoy it to its fullest potential. Sweet and sparkling wines should be served well chilled at 6C to 10C.”

A well-chilled sparkling wine will also stay fizzy in the glass for longer.

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Experts from Wine Spectator explained: “A well-chilled glass of sparkling wine will have a gentle stream of tiny bubbles that last a long time as carbon dioxide is slowly released.”

For other wines, however, the temperature at which they are best-served changes. Jessica continued: “Light to medium-bodied white and rosé wines should be served chilled at 7C to 10C.

“Full-bodied white wines should be served lightly chilled at 10C to 13C. Light-bodied red wines should be served at room temperature or lightly chilled at 10C to 13C.

“Lastly, it is recommended that medium to full-bodied red wines are served at room temperature of 15 to 18C. Any wine glass that narrows at the rim will work well when serving.

“Pour yourself a 50-75ml sample, which is enough to swirl around the glass without spilling it, and then top up after your first taste. Typically, red wine glasses are slightly larger than white wine glasses, and sweet wine is served in smaller glasses while sparkling wines are served in a flute.”

‘Best’ sparkling wines for winter

In May 2022, Which? hosted a taste test to determine the top sparkling wines in the UK based on a number of factors.

As part of this, they determined the “best sparkling wines for winter celebrations”.

  • Asda Marques Del Norte Cava Brut – £7 for 75cl
  • M&S Classics Crémant De Bourgogne NV – £10 for 75cl, vegetarian and vegan
  • Morrisons The Best Crémant De Limoux – £12 for 75cl, vegetarian and vegan
  • Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Prosecco Conegliano 2020 – £10 for 75cl, vegetarian and vegan
  • Spar Castelfino Cava – £7.50 for 75cl, vegetarian and vegan
  • Tesco Finest Blanquette De Limoux 2019 – £9.50 for 75cl, vegetarian and vegan
  • Waitrose La Gioiosa DOCG Superiore Prosecco 2020 – £13.50 for 75cl, vegetarian and vegan

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