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There is an Old Wives' Tale that an opened bottle of champagne ( or indeed any sparkling wine ) can be made to hold its fizz longer if it is placed in the refrigerator with a spoon balanced on it so that the handle of the spoon extends down into the neck of the bottle.

Despite this fairly obviously being utter rubbish this is a remarkably persistent urban fable and having tired of voicing my skepticism in the face of pouty belligerence from people who insist that it must be true because their mother used to do it and who apparently havent realised as most people do at about age 5 that sometimes parents can be wrong, I have decided to settle the question once and for all....

February 27, 2003 02:20 PM
Purchased from Elsternwick Liquor Express 3 bottles of MichinBury White Seal 'Private Cuvee' at AU$6.99 each

February 27, 2003 03:00 PM
Opened two of the bottles within 10 seconds of each other.
Poured out exactly 1 glass from each.
Placed a spoon as described above on one of the bottles.
Placed bottles ( including the unopened 'control' bottle ) into the fridge door.
Sampled poured glasses... Terrible.

February 28, 2003 08:00 PM
Opened remaining bottle.
Poured a glass from each bottle and randomly marked glasses 'A','B' & 'C'
Called in flatmate and asked her to rate glasses in order of fizziness.
Repeated for other 2 flatmates.


Not surprisingly all the subjects identified the newly opened bottle as the fizziest. This was just a control to ensure that a detectable loss of fizziness had occurred in the other bottles.

Each subject said the other two glasses were very similar, but surprisingly when pressed to choose, all three chose the glass that had been filled from the bottle with the spoon as the fizzier of the two.


The results seem to indicate a very slight but nevertheless detectable effect.

The results may have been affected by the position of the bottles in the fridge door - the non-spoon bottle was placed further from the hinge and thus may have been shaken slightly more each time the door was opened and shut. I had meant to rotate the position of the bottles regularly but I was just to damn lazy.

More experimentation is needed to confirm this result, however these particular results seem to support the thesis.

pouty belligerence has been replaced by gleeful indignation

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