A champagne stopper may be the very last thing you consider essential, but in our house we do. I love champagne, but I don't like it to go flat and when we enjoy our takeaway chinese and champagne nights once a week with mum it certainly gets used. So much so that the housing around the sealer has snapped and I need to replace it! The fact that I now need a new champagne stopper made me wonder how many people know about them?
You know that very first glass of champagne? The one you carefully poured without the cork popping off or any spilling? There is a knack to opening champagne correctly that my dear father taught me and this little known facet of the sommelier's art has stayed with me always. I don't need a special tool to open my bottle, to date nobody has been hurt by a flying cork and I very rarely spill a drop. I digress.... Why do I need the stopper?
Well, the simple reason is that champagne has carbon dioxide from secondary fermentation forced into it under pressure hence the special thick glass bottle and the domed bottom. (Did you know the special bottles and corks were British inventions? Thought not!) Once you have opened your bubbly and carefully poured it drop by precious drop into two or more glasses (carefully because there is so much fizz to settle) that CO2 is no longer under enormous pressure. Like all things confined, the CO2 desperately wants to escape. So, put your champers in the fridge without a cork and it will be flat in short order.
The champagne cork is specially shaped to resist accidentally popping off and it is virtually impossible to replace in the bottle. A normal wine stopper will be gradually pushed out by the escaping gas too. (Imagine the little molecules are like prisoners on Death Row when someone has blown a hole in the prison walls... off they scoot!) A champagne stopper is specially designed to confine the gas and maintain the pressure so your bottle of champagne stays bright and bubbly to the very last drop. This little lever action gizmo is easy to use and will last through many, many uses until, as happened in our case, the poor little thing gets trampled underfoot by clumsy feet....
Oh well! Now you know about my little vice! I had better get off to Amazon UK and buy one in time for Champagne Night! Hic!