A number of years ago, I was told that putting a spoon in Sparkling Wine or Champagne will make the bubbles last. I was so excited about this idea that I wanted to do some serious research to figure out why this worked. Low and behold, just seeing it work was good enough for me. So I never did the research – until today! Today, we’re going to explore why (or if) putting a spoon (or fork) in an open bottle of Sparkling Wine does the trick.
HuffPost Gives a Thumbs Up to a Spoon in Sparkling Wine
HuffPost says that “the metal from the spoon helps to cool the air inside the bottle, which makes the air more dense. The denser air acts like a blanket on the surface of the wine and prevents the bubbles from escaping.”
In their 2015 article, they said they ran a test where they opened two bottles of Prosecco and tested their bubbliness immediately after they were opened. They then left them the bottles open for 24 hours, one with an upside-down spoon dangling inside of it and one without anything at all. They claimed that the bottle that was left open with a spoon in it was more fizzy than the one without the spoon.
Business Insider Also Gives This Method a Thumbs Up
This publication uses the same argument, that “the metal of the spoon makes the neck of the bottle colder, which then creates a cold air plug above the warmer Champagne. This then prevents the gasses in the bottle from rising quickly and subsequently keeps the bubbles in.”
Decanter Gives a Spoon in Sparkling Wine a Thumbs Down
Decanter argues that the spoon elixir is a wives’ tale. According to Champagne expert Tyson Stelzer, “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.’” Decanter touts the importance of sealing the bottle hermetically with a Champagne stopper. But they say that even with a Champagne stopper, the CO2 will gradually escape.
Winefamily Likewise Debunks the Use of a Spoon
Winefamily asserts that leaving an open bottle untreated worked better than hanging a spoon inside. And they did some research to prove it.
They say that the most important thing to do to preserve bubbles is to keep the bottle cold. Why? Because CO2 is more soluble at low temperature, enabling cold liquids to better retain their dissolved gas.
Wine Folly Provides Some History Before Saying No
I always get great information from Wine Folly, who appears to do more research than other wine publications. They start out by telling us that the first research on this topic was done in 1994 at Stanford, where the researchers said yes, a spoon does prolong the bubbliness of Sparking Wine or Champagne. They then highlight another study also done in 1994 by Vins de Champagne that said no, a spoon doesn’t prolong the bubbles. Following this, a guy on the Kumkani blog (a Sparkling house in South Africa) did tests and said yes. And then another study said no.
After doing a lot of research, Wine Folly concluded that this is magic, arguing that “a spoon does not halt the process of depressurization of the champagne (which is how those magical bubbles are in the wine in the first place).”
What Am I Going to Do Next?
I’m so sad to hear that my solution might not be true. Next weekend, I’m going to open two bottles of Sparkling Wine, drink a glass from each, and then put them both in the fridge, one with a spoon and one without. I’ll test the wines for the next three days and take copious notes.
I really hope that I find the wine in the spoon bottle to be more bubbly, because I’ve been telling people about this method for a long time. But if the spoon doesn’t help, I’ll fall on my sword and start telling people otherwise.
Please let me know if you’ve done this study and if you believe in the spoon-in-sparkling-wine method or not. Thanks.
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Betty, what is you drop a cold knife all the way in and seal the bottle? Will the presence of the metal make a difference?
Now that sounds like a good experiment 🙂
I can’t wait to hear the results of your experiment!
I will let you know!
I’m eager to see the results too!
I hope you at least try to pour a glass of that bubbly during your experiments. If you do, consider placing just one grain of rice in the glass. It tends to increase the amount of bubbles apparently due to the surface tension of the rice grain.
Definitely. I’ll have a glass from each bottle. I had never heard of the rice trick. I’ll have to try that too – but not in the same expexriment.
I’ve never heard of the rice trick. I’ll have to try that.