From office parties to boozy brunches and afternoon catch-ups with the girls, Champagne and Christmas go hand in hand. And while you never need to convince us to raise a glass or two, during the festive season we tend to end up with more half-drunk bottles of bubbly lying around.
We’ve all tried the trick of sticking a teaspoon in the open bottle of sparkling before storing it back in the fridge, but a study published in Scientific American found that the old silver spoon method performed no better than simply leaving the bottle uncovered. The same disappointing result was reproduced by a group of researchers at the Interprofessional Committee of Champagne (CIVC) in France.
Hervé This, a French food journalist, TV presenter and chemist, described the findings in his 2002 book Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, saying, “The pressure in bottles opened and left open or in bottles opened and left open with a spoon decreased in the same way, whereas a stopper or cork prevented the gas escape.”
So how do you breathe new life into a limp bottle of fizz? Short of resorting to Cheryl Marshall’s SodaStream wizardry for turning still wine into sparkling, The Sun in the UK has reported on a neat trick for restoring the bubbles in a bottle of flat Champagne.
Apparently, all you have to do is drop a raisin into your bottle of Champagne, sparkling wine, prosecco or cava – any CO2that’s left in the wine will cling to the ridged surface of the raisin and release fresh bubbles. But you must act fast as the effect is short-lived, so pour yourself that glass as soon as you see bubbles start to rise from the raisin.