The corkscrew is an obvious choice as one, but what’s the other? I’ll give you a hint — it costs between $5 and 10, so that eliminates the Coravin, the clever $300 gadget with a long needle that lets you sample a bottle without having to open it.
The other essential piece of equipment is a Champagne stopper.
A Champagne stopper looks like an oversized bottle cap with short wings that clamp under the rim of any bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine. What it allows you to do is have a glass of Champagne and stopper the bottle, maintaining the fizz for another day or longer. It’s easy to use–both attaching and removing it from the bottle is a cinch. It keeps the Champagne or sparkling wine fresh and bubbly for five days. Don’t forget that if, by chance, the fizz is gone on day five, the still wine that remains is still fresh and ideal for deglazing a pan in place of white wine.
The Champagne stopper will transform the way you think of Champagne. No longer it is a “special occasion” beverage. It now can be a nightly aperitif to relax after work. You can spread the cost of, for example, a bottle of Pol Roger NV Brut, which is widely available for about $40, over five nights, with a large, 5-ounce, glass a night. Alternatively, you and your spouse or significant other can each enjoy a reasonable 4-ounce pour over three nights. And, if you chose a less expensive sparkling wine, such as the fruity and lively Roederer Estate Brut from Anderson Valley or crisp and edgy Simonnet-Febrve Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé, each which can easily be found at about $20 a bottle, you can halve those expenses and still “celebrate” on a nightly basis.
So buy a bottle of bubbly and a Champagne stopper the next time you’re at your local wine store. You’ll be set for the week.
E-mail me your thoughts about Champagne and sparkling wines at Michael.Apstein1@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter @MichaelApstein
May 31, 2015