Why would opening a bottle of shaken champagne at 45 degrees

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Offline thedoc

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 In my more reckless years I had a party piece, which was to shake a bottle of expensive champagne violently for a period of time. Then open it. So long as I opened the bottle at about 45 degrees, there would be no bubble coming out whatsoever. What's actually going on?

Asked by Paul James

                                        Visit the webpage for the podcast in which this question is answered.

[chapter podcast=1001476 track=16.10.04/Naked_Scientists_Show_16.10.04_1005757.mp3]  ...or Listen to the Answer[/chapter] or [download as MP3]

« Last Edit: 06/10/2016 10:21:04 by _system »


Offline alancalverd

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I regret the intrusion of the hoi-polloi and spumanti-louts into this forum, but one can at least try to  educate them.

Never having poured wine myself, I sought an answer when Bulstrode brought my nightcap. His explanation is, I think, authoritative:

"Bubbles form throughout the bulk of the liquid when the cork is removed, and rise to form a foam . If the bottle is upright the surface area is restricted and the foam is driven into an ever-narrowing neck, so exits the bottle rapidly. If you tilt the bottle the surface area of the liquid increases so the foam is spread out. At around 45 degrees of tilt the spout actually contains liquid, not foam, and the surface area of the liquid in the bottle increases as you pour.   

One should, of course, never shake wine. It is not a homogeneous liquid (despite the appearance of some modern mass-produced "wines") and in its maturity will naturally throw a sediment. That is the reason for the indentation at the foot of the bottle, and why the cellar racks are inclined. 

"Expensive" champagne - or wine of any sort - is an oxymoron, not a tautology. Cook has a collection of minor chateaux but anything we serve at table is either the gift of a grateful nation or the remainder of what your great uncle repossessed from the Third Reich, Sir."

« Last Edit: 10/09/2016 11:16:29 by alancalverd »
helping to stem the tide of ignorance


Offline mrsmith2211

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video, or it did not happen


Offline syhprum

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When I saw 45 I assumed it was being served in Kuwait or Baghdad and was about to reply it would be better cooled but upon more careful reading I note it refers to the angle the bottle is held not the temperature.