August 25th, 2009
Recently we featured an article devoted to champagne thanks to the input and wisdom of winemaker Matthew Krone of Twee Jonge Gezellen estate in Tulbagh. It wasn't long before GoTravel24 user Leon van Heerden and a few friends got in contact with us to dispute our indictment of the age old 'spoon in the champagne bottle' trick.
We of course responded with "bring it on". So he did. With gusto. - Ed
It's an old wives' tale that dangling a silver spoon down the neck of a champagne bottle will preserve the bubble.
Or is it?
Some people swear by it while others think it's a load of tosh. So, although we had never (knowingly) left a bottle of bubbly unfinished, a group of curious Cape Town MCC quaffers decided to see if this was true.
A case of Pierre Jourdan Brut from Achim von Arnim of Haute Cabriere later and we set about designing the experiment.
• Opening two bottles.
• Pouring a standard glass from each and photographing the wine in the glass.
• Drinking the wine and recording our impressions - this was a terribly important step and one we had to repeat often.
• Returning the bottles to the fridge, one with a spoon in it and one without.
• As the bottles cooled down over the next few hours, recording the temperature in the bottle before repeating the process until the bottles were empty.
Of course, at each photograph-and-taste stage we also needed to open a control bottle afresh - just so that we had a comparison of course.
The experiment was repeated with many bottles over several weekends. It was a struggle, but we'll do anything for science.
Once we had exhausted the crate (and a few extra bottles bought in), we scanned and digitally processed the photographs and then (i) counted the bubbles in each glass and (ii) measured the size of all the bubbles. All we can say here is thank heavens for software!
From the data, we could plot a bubble size distribution graph. This sounds impressive, but it is actually just a histogram with bubble size (diameter) along the bottom and the number of bubbles on the vertical axis
Do you have any theories on the spoon and champagne theory? Let us know in the comment section below.