If you’ve got a bottle of bubbly that you can’t quite finish but want to keep, knowing how to recork sparkling wine properly will serve you well. This guide takes you through the simple steps to recorking and gives other ways to store opened sparkling wine if you don’t have the means to recork.
What Corks Do Sparkling Wine Bottles Use?
The corks in sparkling wine bottles are different to still wine corks, with a larger disk at the bottom. The disks are specially designed with more elasticity, which allows them to expand when in the bottle as they react to the carbon dioxide. These corks will be held in place with a wire retainer but are also designed to withstand the pressure created by the carbon dioxide in sparkling wine.
How to Recork Sparkling Wine
Once you’ve popped your Champagne or sparkling wine, you’ll notice that the cork expands. You won’t be able to reinsert the original cork back into the bottle because of this. However, you can use an old cork from another regular wine bottle, or purchase a sparkling wine stopper:
- Check there are no breakages or other signs of damage in the cork, as any airways that form because of these will allow oxygen into the bottle and carbon dioxide out, ruining the fizz
- Put your sparkling wine bottle on a sturdy surface like a table or a counter
- Insert the cork into the neck of the bottle, twisting and pushing down to get it in
- Make sure about half of the cork is sticking out so you can remove it later!
If you’re having trouble wedging a cork in, use wax paper to help reduce the friction:
- Cut up a piece of wax paper to the same length as the cork you’re trying to put in
- Wrap it around half of the cork
- Insert the wrapped end into the bottle and gently push down, being careful to not twist the cork as this will wrinkle the paper and make your job more difficult
How to Store Opened Sparkling Wine Without Recorking
If you don’t have an old cork, you can use other methods to store your opened sparkling wine:
- Stoppers: You can invest in dedicated sealers and stoppers for a reusable recorking solution. These are made to fit the opening of a wine bottle, gripping the sides and slowing down oxidation.
- Plastic wrap and paper: Craft a makeshift cork with a piece of paper or kitchen towel, rolling it tightly to the shape and size of a cork. Check against the opening of the bottle to ensure you’ve measured it correctly. Wrap cling film around it and tape it closed, then push the roll in halfway. This should work for very short-term storage.
- Foil: You can also use tin foil to achieve the above in the same way, just be sure to make it as airtight as possible.
Refrigerating your sparkling wine and storing it upright with the above recorking methods should preserve that sparkle well.
What NOT to Do With Leftover Sparkling wine
It’s important that you don’t decant your leftover champagne or other sparkling wine into a still wine bottle. This is because sparkling wine bottles are made of thicker glass that can withstand the pressure of carbon dioxide, while still wine bottles are thinner and can’t.
You should also never freeze sparkling wine, as air from the bottle can react and cause pressure to build. Resulting explosions can be extremely dangerous.
How Long Does an Open Bottle of Sparkling Wine Last?
Really, sparkling wine is best consumed within the same day of opening as it will quickly lose carbonation upon being popped. However, if swiftly recorked, an opened bottle of leftover sparkling wine can last up to 3 days.
If you have left your bottle for a couple of days, it’s a good idea to check for these telltale tines of expiry before consuming:
- A noticeably different odour, one that’s sour and vinegary
- A big change in colour, which indicates chemical reactions have occurred
- A bad taste, the most obvious sign your wine has gone off
Restock on Quality Sparkling Wines with Bolney Wine Estate
Sparkling wine made in the traditional method will provide a long-lasting, quality wine that delivers on taste, too. At Bolney Wine Estate, we have been making innovative English sparkling wine for over 50 years, earning a string of awards along the way. If you need a replacement for your leftover bottle, you can’t do much better.
Browse our impressive range to find the sparkling wine for you, including red wines, whites, and rosés. Or, explore our subscribe and save option, which ensures monthly deliveries of wine to your door, hassle-free.