Who drinks the dregs of champagne?
May 18, 2012 4:51 PM   Subscribe

What do they do with perishable alcohol at the end of a cruise?

I can't believe I'm wasting a question on this, but I'm drinking champagne right now as a reward for a rough day, and it got me thinking. I was on a cruise once, and won fifty dollars on a hand of Caribbean Stud Poker. Figuring it was free money, as I only played that one hand, I decided to spend it on a single glass of Cristal. An open bottle of champagne can only be kept for a limited time, so what do cruise companies do with the perishable alcohol when the cruise is over or it's ending its useful shelf life? This is one of those ridiculous questions that is going to drive me crazy until I get an answer.
posted by Ruki to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I suspect the same thing any bar does with wines, serve it until it's no longer good and then pour it out... they made a profit on it after the first two glasses....
posted by HuronBob at 4:54 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Most bars and restaurants serving wine by the glass use some kind of preservation system. Also, there are only five pours in a bottle -- there's a good chance that cruise ship bar didn't have too much trouble selling the other four glasses of Cristal.
posted by neroli at 5:12 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

If they couldn't sell it-- or give it to a high roller-- I'm sure someone in the kitchen was willing to drink it.
posted by BibiRose at 5:31 PM on May 18, 2012 [4 favorites]

Typically there is only a 3-6 hour gap between one group of passengers and the next, so just because it didn't get drunk on your cruise doesn't mean it won't get imbibed by the next set of passengers.

If it isn't good anymore, it gets dumped (officially. If someone does something else unofficially and the chef/restaurant manager looks the other way, then that's that).
posted by arnicae at 5:35 PM on May 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

Champagne is rarely sold by the glass in the first place, and if it is, the stuff by the glass is usually the cheap stuff where the waste is not missed. I'm very surprised they sold you a glass of Cristal.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:54 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, just cause you go home doesn't mean the cruise is over. They turn those boats around AMAZINGLY fast.
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:46 PM on May 18, 2012

So very little alcohol is really perishable its pretty much champagne and wine and wine can sit a day or two still be good enough to serve.

Most bars (can't speak explicitly for cruise ships) have special cap for champagne which can sit overnight so I'm guessing they just cap it and if when its poured it hasn't got any bubbles they likely pour it out. (re-iterating the turnaround on cruise ships is fast)

All told pouring out 3/4 of a bottle of Cristal is costly but in the grand scheme of things on a cruise ship's expenses its barely a blip.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:09 PM on May 18, 2012

(BTW - they're likely covering costs with the first glass)
posted by bitdamaged at 9:09 PM on May 18, 2012

Cool Papa Bell-It was a champagne bar, so they sold everything by the glass. I know I wouldn't have gotten a single glass of Cristal anywhere else.

Thanks for the answers.
posted by Ruki at 7:17 AM on May 19, 2012

They use a cap that extends the fizz-life further. They know how fast they can get through a bottle and what they can get away with as salable. (What's the risk in serving someone flat champagne? If they complain, you give them a glass from a fresh bottle graciously and the flat glass can be poured out or drank by barstaff or whatever.)

If you're talking about a full-on cruise ship with full restaurant service, leftover totally flat stale champagne is still great for poaching and sauces.
posted by desuetude at 9:26 PM on May 20, 2012

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