Text Size:-+

Testing the Old Spoon in the Champagne Bottle Trick

I don't know exactly when I was first told, but for years I've "known" that if you want to keep a bottle of opened Champagne from going flat, you drop a silver spoon into the neck of the bottle, handle first. Sort of like knowing you shouldn't go swimming for an hour after you eat, this trick with the spoon seems to be yet another proclamation from the infamous Department of They.

You know the one. "They" say you shouldn't go outside on a cold day with a wet head, because you'll catch a cold. Why not? Well that's just what they say.

Half the time, such conventional wisdom seems quite astute, and has even been proven to be right (I think someone actually did prove that wet heads in cold weather will increase the likelihood of catching a cold). The rest of the time, of course, it's utter hogwash.

I've never known which the old spoon trick actually was, or whether it mattered if the darn spoon was silver or not. Most of the time these days I have a rubber or a metal stopper to use. But on occasion when I don't, or when I'm away from home, I drop a spoon in the bottle just to be... well... safe, I guess.

Turns out I wasn't the only one with the passing notion that this business with the spoon might be a bunch of crap. Some of the science minded folks at Twee Jonge Gezellen estate in South Africa found themselves without enough to do last week (it is Winter down there, after all) and when challenged by the folks at GoTravel24 to actually prove their contention that the spoon trick actually worked, they decided to put this technique to the test with a bit of rigor.

Their test involved opening two bottles, pouring some wine from each, and then putting them back in the fridge, one with a spoon, the other without. The bottles were then removed at regular intervals, the temperature measured in each, new glasses poured, and photographed each time, along with a control glass poured from a brand new bottle.

After all the wine was good and drunk (and the researchers had recovered from being drunk as well), the photographs of the glasses were analyzed to count the bubbles to see whether, in fact the spooned bottle held more fizz over time.

I'm sure some full-time scientist could find all sorts of faults with the methodology -- certainly there are a lot of variables that determine how many bubbles are in a glass of sparkling wine, but for what it's worth, they saw a significant difference.

I'll let them share the final result. Read the full article.

Thanks to Kumkani winery for the link.

Buy My Award-Winning Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Unglamorous Work A Lesson in the Loss of Denis Malbec I'll Drink to That: Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle Restaurant Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/19/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 12, 2016 Warm Up: Richebourg I'll Drink to That: Jean-Nicolas Méo of Méo-Camuzet Vinography Images: It's Nice to be King It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud