By Mary Mullaj
The question of how to preserve an open bottle of champagne has been around as long as wine connoisseurs have been indulging in bubbly. The simplest solution is, of course, to finish the bottle, but for days when a mimosa at brunch sounds better than a killer hangover, the Perlage System promises to work wonders for sparkling wines and those who enjoy them.
The Perlage System has been under development for about fifteen years. The system is used to reseal bottles, thus preventing oxidation and preserving carbonation and flavor indefinitely. It does this by returning the headspace of the opened bottle to the precise composition and pressure that existed before the bottle was opened. The big difference between the Perlage System and the best alternative up to this point, the vacuum wine saver pump, is carbon dioxide. While the vacuum pump version of preserving wine merely removes oxygen from the headspace, the Perlage first purges the area of oxygen and then replaces it with pure carbon dioxide. The whole process takes a few seconds, but the results will last for weeks or months.
The consumer version uses disposable cartridges, which each last for about two to four bottles of champagne, while the commercial version can be connected to existing CO2 systems. Now restaurants will be able to offer fine champagnes and other sparkling wines by the glass, providing an opportunity for them to increase their revenues, as well as for customers to sample and enjoy the occasional glass. And that alone is reason to celebrate.