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The Perfect Champagne Pour: It’s A Science, Not An Art

Filed by KOSU News in Science.
December 30, 2011

Here’s something to impress — or annoy — your friends this New Year’s Eve: the science behind the champagne pour.

To preserve the fizz and taste of the wine, you need to preserve the bubbles, a recent study found.

Scientists in France measured the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide – what’s inside those trains of tiny bubbles – that was lost when the champagne was poured in different ways and at different temperatures. The bubbles are thought to preserve the beverage’s effervescence and taste, according to the study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The researchers found that pouring champagne like a savvy bartender pours a pint of beer reduced the amount of carbon dioxide lost. By tilting the flute and pouring the bubbly down its side, the beverage will stay fizzier than one poured straight down the middle.

The researchers also found that the warmer the champagne was, the more carbon dioxide it lost. Despite the fact that champagne is big business, the researchers were the first to shown that low temperatures help maintain effervescence during the pouring process, according to the study.

So keep that bubbly as close to the ideal temperature — 39 degrees Fahrenheit — as possible.

Check out the video from the American Chemical Society to learn more about how the bubbles get into in festive beverage and why they travel to the surface. And try one of these champagne cocktails while you’re at it. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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