Older Champagne/Sparkling

How does one manage the older corks on these? For older still wine, there’s the Durand and the like, but what about with sparkling?



There is not one situation with old champagnes but many.

With age, normally, the cork tightens.
It happens that some corks are extremely easy to pull, as the cork has become tiny and generally the bubbles are gone and the wine has evaporated a little.

But there are other situations. It happens that the cork sticks to the glass. Then you cannot open it without cutting by itself the upper part which is outside the neck.
Then, you have to use your corkscrew to lift the lower part of the cork.

What can also happen is that nearly all is lifted, and what remains inside is the last piece of the cork which is a piece of cork oak different from the top. Then you have to be very gentle to catch with the corkscrew the small piece which has a tendancy to fall inside.
By chance, this is very rare.

What happens for Champagne Salon of the 80ies is that it is impossible to turn the cork. Then you have to use a nut cracker and turn as gently as you can in order that the lower part turns with the upper part. If it breaks, you use the corkscrew.

Normally all situations can be managed. Something like the Durand is not necessary.

An advise that I give for free champagne.gif : with your friends, you do as if you were unable to turn the cork, and you ask : “is there a gentleman who is strong enough for this cork ?” It works generally very well grouphug

These are some corks of the recent dinner with very old champagnes : 1911 x 2 - 1921 - 1934 - 1949 and so on
You see the different situations with corks broken and tiny corks.

Thanks! Great pics.

saber it!


I rarely have issues with corks being difficult on older champagnes. Generally the issue is they come out much too easy.