You have your friends around and the Prosecco is flowing.
You brought out two bottles for the occasion and you’ve collectively worked through both of them. There’s another bottle in reserve, so you head to the fridge to get it. The cork is popped and a couple of your friends have an extra glass. But unfortunately, that last bottle proved to be a step too far and it doesn’t get finished.
Undeterred, you reseal the bottle and place it back in the fridge.
A couple of days later, you take the bottle back out and pour yourself a glass.
You take the first sip…
And it’s completely flat!
The bubbles that made the wine so appealing before have disappeared entirely. And what you’re left with is a wine that feels tepid by comparison. Unfortunately, the bottle ends up getting poured down the sink because of a simple “fact”:
You can’t store opened bottles of Italian sparkling wine!
It makes sense that you wouldn’t be able to. Regular opened wines tend to lose their quality after a week or so in storage so it stands to reason that sparkling wine would lose its quality quicker. The bubbles help to make the drink and they’re going to disappear quickly.
Is it really true that there is no way to store these types of wine after opening?
While an opened Italian sparkling wine will still lose its qualities fairly quickly, no matter what you do, there are a few clever storage tricks that you might be able to use to extend its opened shelf life just a little further.
Trick #1 – Don’t Rely on a Regular Wine Stopper
Wine stoppers seem like the most natural solution for storing a bottle of opened sparkling wine. After all, they’ve been designed specifically to allow you to store opened bottles for longer and, when it comes to still wines, they do an excellent job.
The problem is that sparkling wines have bubbles and still wines don’t. Unfortunately, a regular wine stopped may not create enough of a seal for the bottle to create the pressure needed to keep the bubbles in play after the bottle is opened.
The good news is that there are wine stoppers designed specifically for sparkling wines. They tend to cost a little more but they also feature dual-sided wings that create additional pressure inside the bottle. This added pressure allows the bubbles to last longer, which adds a couple of days to the storage time for your Italian sparkling wine.
They’re not a perfect solution, as there is no perfect solution. But if you drink a lot of Italian sparkling wine, and have a habit of not finishing off bottles, these special stoppers may help you to get a little more out of your wine.
Trick #2 – Buy Splits
Okay, so this one may feel like cheating a little bit.
The trick here is to not open a regular bottle of sparkling wine in the first place. Instead, invest in buying a stack of splits, which are the single-use bottles that you will often find in pubs, bars, and restaurants.
With splits, you don’t open the bottle unless you know that you’re going to finish it, as you’re getting a single glass of wine every single time. So, you’re obviously not going to be in the position where you need to store an opened bottle.
The trick here is to just avoid the problem altogether!
Of course, splits aren’t anywhere near as readily available as regular bottles, which makes this particular trick a little harder to pull off.
Trick #3 – Use a Spoon
Let’s go back to actual tricks you can use for regular bottles of sparkling Italian wine.
A metal spoon offers a unique and interesting solution to the issue of the loss of bubbles. By placing the handle of the spoon inside the bottle, with the spoon part sitting on top of the lip, you actually make the bubbles last longer.
It all comes down to the conductive power of metal.
Your old science classes (plus any mishaps where you’ve picked up a piece of heated metal) taught you that metal has a habit of storing the heat that flows through it. However, that same conductive power applies to the cold as much as it does to warmth.
By popping a spoon inside the opened bottle and then placing the bottle inside the fridge, you’re using the spoon to transfer my cold air into the bottle. This makes the air surrounding the drink denser, which creates a form of pressure that allows the bubbles to last longer.
Again, this isn’t a perfect solution. The nature of a spoon’s shape means you won’t be able to fully seal the bottle while storing it. And again, the bubbles will eventually dissipate. Generally speaking, you’re going to get maybe a day or two of storage out of this method.
Still, it’s a cheap and easy solution that you can implement with an item that you have lying around the house. And if you want to give it a boost, you could also wrap some aluminium foil around the spoon, both to create a better seal and to transfer more cold energy to the spoon.
And the Final Trick…
Finish off every bottle of sparkling Italian wine that you open.
This may sound like a copout, but the fact is that any method that you use to store opened sparkling wines is a temporary one, at best. Even by using these tricks (barring the splits one, of course), you’re only buying yourself a day or two of freshness before the wine starts to lose its qualities. So, these tricks are best used if you know that you’re going to polish off the bottle the next day and you want to keep it as fresh as possible.
Otherwise, it’s always best to finish the bottle after opening it.
The good news is that we’re here to help if you happen to have lost an opened bottle of Italian sparkling wine because of the struggle of storage. Check out our online store and you’ll find plenty of replacements!