Monday, May 23

Everyday life. The teaspoon in the bottle of champagne, a myth that dies hard

It’s a popular belief, just like keeping the pit of the avocado in the guacamole so it doesn’t turn black, or putting oil in the pasta water so it doesn’t stick. . If you take out the champagne during a festive meal, someone can prompt you, to keep the opened bottle, to put a small spoon in the neck and place it in the refrigerator to prevent the bubbles from churning. escape. This technique would retain the CO2 and allow the bubbles to be kept to a maximum. Yet this myth is as widespread as it is false.

A user’s tweet recently revived the debate. According to him, this ploy is a belief in the same way as those put forward by those who are resistant to the vaccine… For a commentator, indeed, this idea is one of the most common superstitions, such as avoiding black cats or not going under a ladder. .

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Why it does not work ?

Some might argue that the spoon has to be silver for this to work. But whatever metal is used, it does not retain gas. In 1995, this stratagem was even tested by the physico-chemist team of the Interprofessional Center for Champagne Wines, recount Science and Life. The latter simultaneously uncorked a dozen bottles of the same cuvée, then partially emptied the precious drink so that the containers reached the same level. The bottles were then separated into four batches, one with teaspoons, another with corks, a third with caps and finally a last batch was left in the open air.

The researchers set the bottles aside for 24, 48 and 72 hours, weighing them each time. Indeed, they lost weight as the bubbles, or carbon dioxide, escaped into the open air. They also tasted the champagne left in the bottles to measure the loss of effervescence with their palate. Bad news: chemists have proven that the myth is not a reality. Champagne stored with a spoon evaporated no less than champagne without a spoon. The only solution to keep the bubbles a little bit remains according to their conclusions, the stopper cap, hermetic. Here’s a clever gift to put under the tree next December!

However, the bubbles will not be kept for more than 48 hours. Placing the bottle in the refrigerator can also help for a day, because the cold freezes the movements.

Where does this curious practice come from?

The idea of ​​the spoon actually comes from a practice in the catering industry: this, once placed in the neck, would make it possible to identify the bottle in which there was still champagne. A customer could also ask for their bottle to be kept, and the teaspoon could also be used to signify ownership.

But by the way, why does the cork pop when you open the bottle?

During champagnisation, the addition of yeasts allows fermentation, which produces CO2 in a closed bottle. The carbon dioxide does not escape, it stays in the bottle as dissolved gas until you open it. At this time, the gas is released under the effect of the release of pressure. The cork is then pushed by the escaping carbon dioxide.

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