How can I keep my sparkling wine fizzy for multiple days?
March 13, 2014 7:41 AM   Subscribe

I like sparkling white wine, but it always loses most of its fizz by the second day in the fridge. Silver spoons are bogus, champagne caps are no more useful than the metal screw caps I put on, the vacuum pump things actually make it worse (they're good for non-fizzy wine). What could I use to keep my leftovers (which vary in volume) fizzy?

I've been experimenting with various different options - right now the best I can do is putting part of the bottle in a smaller bottle (split, or just any old water bottle) and capping it tightly. What I'm trying to find is something that will work regardless of the volume of liquid or work to re-fizz-ify the wine later. The bottle I'm primarily getting has a screw top which holds a good seal.

Trying it with our Sodastream produced predictable results - an avalanche of fizz (you're only supposed to use it with water). I tried it both with a small amount of wine and a larger amount, both times it overflowed the carafe. The tiny bit of liquid I salvaged was fizzy, though.

I tried this collapsible water bottle - but the seal must not be perfect because the CO2 expanded the bottle. I tried the Fizz Keeper with mixed results - the seal has to be absolutely perfect for it to work and I think it is counter productive because I have to pour it into a different bottle with a funnel for it to work. If it gets jogged in the fridge or is having a bad day, it doesn't work at all and you get 100% flat wine (even worse than just putting the cap back on).

Any other suggestions?
posted by arnicae to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Are you sure that the metal caps were airtight enough? I've had good luck with the Metrokane Velvet stopper keeping champagne fizzy for weeks. It's a bit finicky to use and sometimes seems to want to stick onto the bottle when I'm taking it off, but it works! I also have a Winco Champagne stopper. I've only been using it for a few days, but it's done well so far.
posted by Maladroid at 7:54 AM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I cap sparkling all the time. Like Maladroid says - some of these things are crazy good. I've learned to always have a test glass. Sometimes you leave a bottle in for what has to be way too long and yet, no, it's fine. (In some cases, overnight can be too long.This seems specific to bottles, not wines.)

There are a couple of cheap sparkling wines that come with a rescrewable-pressure cap. The ones I tried were undrinkable when opened, but everybody else liked them so keep your eyes open and
try one.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:01 AM on March 13, 2014

They're a little expensive per ounce, but another solution to the problem is smaller servings. These champagne cans are fun.
posted by mercredi at 8:07 AM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you tried storing your sparkling wine in the Sodastream bottles? I've found that they're better at holding fizz than regular bottles, especially if you keep the lids quite tight.

Also, it's totally possible to use the Sodastream to refizzify things. You basically have to let it rest for a minute before removing the bottle from the machine, but it works--I've done it once, and there are a lot of YouTube videos walking you through the process.
posted by MeghanC at 8:08 AM on March 13, 2014

Keep it as cold as possible (carbon dioxide is more soluble at low temperatures).
posted by susanvance at 8:09 AM on March 13, 2014

I've always had decent luck with a Winco style topper as mentioned above. It may not seal well with a screw top though. The next step would be to try some sort of a gas based system. There's a number of them on this page, but I can't say anything about their effectiveness for as I haven't used any of them on anything but still wine (where they work very well). One of my local bars uses a system that consists of a big plastic bottle that encloses the champagne bottle, and is gassed after each use. The bartenders say it works very well, but it may be overkill for home use.

You're true best option is simply to drink more bubbles so you don't have to worry about flat leftovers! :)
posted by Jawn at 8:31 AM on March 13, 2014

Best answer: Perlage is the system I mentioned above. Probably a little expensive for home use.
posted by Jawn at 8:36 AM on March 13, 2014

Carbonated drinks lose their fizz because the carbon dioxide bubbles escape under low pressure. A full, tightly-sealed container of carbonated drink is under pressure higher than atmospheric air pressure-- it's why the container pops when you open it.

When you open a bottle and remove some of the contents, some of the carbonation will escape into the standard pressure air pocket you've created at the top of the bottle. If there's enough space at the top, all the bubbles will join that air. When I open a two-liter bottle of seltzer, I squeeze it to remove the air before I reseal and it works great. It won't stand very well, so I keep it in the fridge door. Obviously, you can't do that with a wine bottle.

If you want your carbonated drink to stay that way once you open it, you have two options-- increase the pressure in the resealed bottle, or transfer the liquid to a smaller container without much space at the top. I've seen bottle tops in catalogs with a pump and gasket which claim to re-pressurize the bottle-- I have no idea if they work but it's a sound principle. Your other option is to decant the wine to a smaller glass container.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:34 AM on March 13, 2014

I'd transfer the wine to a smaller bottle and recap it tightly. I've seen half-sized glass wine bottles with screw tops at the grocery store and I'm sure the wine in them is pretty crap but you could keep the bottles after washing them out. If you use a pump top I'd be concerned that you might end up putting nitrogen into the wine (from the air, of course) which would change the flavor compared to the carbon dioxide that's making the bubbles in the first place. It might also speed up oxidation since there'd be more available oxygen. I'm not sure if that would be a problem, but to me it seems like transferring to a smaller, tightly-capped bottle would be the better and simpler solution.
posted by Scientist at 9:39 AM on March 13, 2014

Best answer: You could replace your sodastream with a device that lets you carbonate non-sodastream sanctioned beverages - like the Mastrad Purefizz.
posted by enfa at 10:49 AM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have the Fizz-Giz home carbonator which is a similar concept to a soda stream but is "approved" for use with non-water liquids and doesn't use proprietary cartridges. I have not tried it but the inventor/seller of the FG mentions re-carbonating flat drinks as a potential use. There's always a chance you'll have a similar result as what happened with the soda stream and maybe following the advice to let the re-carbonated bottle rest before opening it (as recommended above). Maybe with the advice the Soda Stream will work fine.

The one other thing which might make the Fizz Giz preferable is that you carbonate the bottle through a special screw cap that remains in place when you remove the carbonator, effectively sealing the bottle automatically and avoiding immediate avalanche of suds. Not sure if this is how Soda Stream works, too, or if you have to take the bottle off and THEN screw on a cap.
posted by dahliachewswell at 10:50 AM on March 13, 2014

My vacuum pump thingie comes with a little switch on the side to pump the other way. I pump air INTO the champagne bottles to keep them fresh.
posted by KathrynT at 2:49 PM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

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