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“What’s leftover Champagne?” asks Justus Benjamin, wine curator and co-owner of San Diego wine shop Boutique Vino. I can empathize as I, too, rarely find myself in such a situation. But sometimes unconsumed bubbles are inevitable after, say, an event or just a night of too much wine. However, there’s no need to fret if you’ve got leftovers on your hands. If you know how to maximize the life of your bottle, you’ve got at least a few days left to enjoy its contents.
According to Jimmy Bruton, brand director of Freixenet Mionetto USA, all you need to keep a bottle of prosecco or any other sparkling wine is a simple specialized stopper. “It’s specially crafted to grip the neck of the bottle, so there’s no chance of it popping off from the buildup of CO2,” he tells Liquor.com. "And these simple yet effective tools far outweigh the proverbial silver spoon trick that your mother or grandmother might’ve told you about––for example, with a good stopper, a bottle of Mionetto or other sparkling wine can keep its effervescence and freshness for several days after opening," Bruton notes. Here are our expert's top picks for the best quality sparkling wine stoppers of the year.
Best Overall: Professional Grade WAF Champagne Stopper by Kloveo
“A professional-grade WAF Champagne stopper is essential,” says Benjamin. “The key is that they clamp to the bottle, preventing refrigerator tragedies.” With this patented self-tightening seal system––the brainchild of inventor Walter Fortunato (WAF)––these Italian-made stoppers are so secure that you can confidently keep your bottle on its side in the fridge without risking any leakage. Plus, thanks to the seal itself (which is designed and built around Pascal’s law) and secure clamp, according to Benjamin, a WAF Champagne Stopper “keeps bottles fresh and poppin’ for about 3 days if kept cold.”
These stoppers are BPA- and phthalate-free and are made from chrome-coated stainless steel; each one comes complete with a 90-day warranty and will fit almost any standard 750-milliliter sparkling wine bottle.
Related: The Best Wine Stoppers
Best Splurge: Genesis Champagne and Wine Preserver by Napa Technology
Going far beyond what any traditional Champagne stopper can offer is Napa Technology’s Genesis Champagne and Wine Preserver. This system works by employing its proprietary IntelliCork technology, which removes oxygen from within the bottle and replaces it with inert gas, and sealing it in as a means of preventing the liquid inside from oxidizing (and thus spoiling). The Genesis works with both still and sparkling wines––extending their lives to two months and up to seven days respectively––and can be kept either on display in your kitchen or stored away, depending on your preference.
To use with sparkling wine, place your open bottle (of any size up to a magnum) along with the IntelliCork head and latch into the machine, and then let the machine work its magic. To reopen the bottle, simply remove the head attachment and pour away, then repeat the process if there’s any wine left. Just note that you’ll have to purchase the special sparkling wine preservation head separately as it’s not included with the Genesis set.
Best Budget: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Champagne Stopper
Similar in design to a WAF stopper, the Cuisinart Champagne Stopper is a simple yet effective contraption that comes in at about half the price of the professionals’ choice. The leak-proof, airtight seal will keep your sparkling wine fresh for up to three days, and if it doesn’t, you can always fall back on the lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. This stopper is made from carbon steel and is hand-wash only.
Best Design: Le Creuset Champagne Crown Sealer
As Benjamin mentioned, you can keep an open bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge with a good stopper for up to three days. One of the tricks to making the most of that time frame, says Godefroy Baijot, managing director and co-owner of Champagne Besserat de Bellefon, is having a stopper fitted perfectly to the neck of your specific bottle. In an ideal world, this would be one made by the Champagne that you’re drinking (this usually makes for the best fit), though of course, you won’t always have access to your bottle’s matching stopper, in which case a sealing stopper like Le Creuset’s Champagne Crown model would also be an excellent option.
Le Creuset might be best known for its stoneware, but this simple yet beautifully constructed metal contraption is not to be underestimated. Using a valve system and an airtight rubber seal, the Crown instantly locks in a sparkling wine’s effervescence with the simple flip of a switch.
Best Design Runner-Up: Rabbit Stainless Steel Champagne and Wine Sealer
Rabbit is one of those kitchenware brands that just nails it every time––you can expect both form and function from their tools and gadgets, and this wine sealer is no exception. Thanks to its ergonomic design, the Rabbit Stainless Steel Champagne and Wine Sealer is incredibly easy to use and requires minimal effort; it’s constructed from quality metal along with a smooth black handle for easy gripping. To seal any standard wine bottle (sparkling or still), simply place on the mouth of the bottle and twist to close. Just be careful not to over-tighten this stopper so as to avoid compromising its efficacy in the long run.
Most Versatile: Sello 2 Wine Preservation System
Read Next: The Best Wine Openers
Preservation meets dripless pouring in Sello’s ultra-preserving bottle topper. This device can be used on any bottle, really, from still wines to sparkling as well as spirits bottles, though of course preservation of spirits is not quite as necessary as it is for wine. Essentially, Sello snaps into the neck of the bottle using cartridges to absorb both oxygen and excess moisture inside. This set comes complete with one Sello device and 12 cartridges.
Good to Know:
If you’ve got leftover Prosecco or other sparkling wine that’s lost its bubbles (and thus is not ideal for drinking), Bruton has a helpful tip––cook with it. Mionetto’s Prestige Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut, for example, helps to brighten many different dishes. “[It’s] actually perfect because the balanced acidity will lighten up any dish, salad dressing, et cetera. I suggest throwing a few splashes into a creamy risotto.”
Read Next: The Best Champagnes
Why Trust Liquor.com?
Wine writer Céline Bossart’s top desert island drink by far is a cold bottle of extra brut Champagne. While she doesn’t usually have leftovers on her hands, she considers it a crime to let bubbles go to waste, and she’s tried plenty of different stoppers to find out which are the most effective.