Champagne / Sparkling Wine Bottle Caps / Stoppers
15th September 2022
I’m sure that many will say ‘once a bottle of wine is open it’s going to get drunk‘ so worrying about putting the cork back in is not a major concern in order to preserve it for another day, nonetheless squeezing the cork back in is fairly easy to do. This is all fine for still wines, but Champagne / sparkling wines you are not able to put the cork back in as many will not fit, though the more pressing issue is that they are likely, due to pressure, to pop back out again within a short period of time. For fizzy wines we either can go down the old silver spoon in the neck of the bottle (it is highly debated if this method works or not) or we need to find a cap / stopper that not only fits, but clamps down so to resist any loss of bubbles and for safety reasons, stop itself from flying back out.
There is nothing worse than warm Champagne, though also nothing worse than flat Champagne too! To retain those bubbles once a bottle is opened is to store the wine in a fridge (the colder you store Champagne, the slower it releases CO2) and also look to contain the CO2 within the bottle rather than letting it escape. In the world of sparkling wine, we have a wide selection of caps / stoppers to choose from with cheap, budget options up to those at a considerable cost – I guess it all depends on the quality of wine you are opening and looking to protect!
One type of stopper is Kloveo which is the number one selling stopper in France and Italy. The seal uses a simple but brilliant physics principle (Pascal’s Law). As pressure builds inside the bottle, the seal gets even tighter! Up to 88 psi of pressure (6 ATM). It has a chrome-plated stainless steel body and hinge construction and is available to buy at Amazon.
“Champagne, and for that matter any other decent quality sparkling wine, will commence decreasing in quality the moment it is opened so it is always best to try to enjoy it as soon as you can. If you tend to drink in only small amounts you should consider the likes of half sized bottles (or smaller) or invest in a quality wine stopper. Once a bottle of sparkling wine is opened the bubbles will start to reduce in volume and the fresh fruity flavours / finer detailed flavours will fade and instead you start to get more mineral / sour / stale expressions instead. Aromas will also change from fresh and fruity / yeasty to those of sour / vinegar expressions. When you wish to pour yourself a glass then think about getting the stopper back in quickly afterwards and replacing the bottle back in a cool location.”
For this article, I would like to share with you some of the more popular used and those which you are most likely to find online to purchase. These examples usually come branded with the winery name on and make a nice gift for any wine lover. In the following video I look at a selection of stoppers and how easy they are to use:
How about stopper solutions for more expensive bottles of Champagne such as tête de cuvées and vintages? If we open a bottle we know that immediately the qualities and bubbles of the wine will reduce and especially if inadequate storage takes place. Especially for hospitality venues who serve expensive Champagne by the glass, there needs to be an option that enables sommeliers to confidently put the bottle back in the fridge after opening safe in the knowledge that even if after several days or weeks, if another glass is poured its performance will be as great as the first.
“624M bottles of wine are wasted each year in the UK” source Coravin Sustainability
Such an option is available via Coravin and their Sparkling Charger. This unique product, priced at time of writing at £399, enables not only a secure stopper locking the air within, its CO2 injection charger allows you to fill the headspace in the bottle and prevents the bubbles in the sparkling wine from dissipating.
Just how good is this product from Coravin and is it worth the price? We put the question out to the Champagne Collectors Facebook group with over 6,000 Champagne enthusiasts globally. Comments included:
“I have it and love it. While I enjoy a btl, with the Coravin I can have a different btl the next day. I pushed the envelope on an ‘07 Cristal and it was fresh, even better 6 weeks later!”
“I have it and it’s awesome. Also had it on one of my wine lists and was able to keep high end champagne btg.”
“Work in the import/distribution side and I find it immensely useful. Can spend a good week or more with the Coravin on and it’s still perfectly presentable. Don’t leave a half glass in the bottle and expect it to be full of bubbles but a half bottle or more and you are good.”
Vivien Siew Huey Loo
“Have a somm friend who uses it at work. Says it work well.”
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.