“How can I recork sparkling wine and champagne when I don’t finish the bottle?”
Ah the eternal lament. Theoretically I should be using stoppers all the time given how much of the stuff I drink; factually it is seldom a problem as the bottles always seem to magically empty themselves. Here is a selection of possibilities for you. I use them ALL because you are not always at home when needs must.
Recycle. I keep a fruit tray on the kitchen counter and I toss whisky and liqueur corks there with a few wine corks so I have a variety of diameters to seal different bottles. There is always at least one of the re-sealable stopper used by Yellowtail Bubbles. These stoppers work on any number of sparkling wine bottles, although best obviously on the Bubbles Bottle. (Hint: save the bottle too, decant, reseal.) If visiting relatives, I often buy a bottle of Bubbles at the beginning of the visit just to get the stopper.
Commercial products There are any number of commercial sparkling sealers out there. I use the Vacuvin Champagne Saver. HOWEVER different stoppers work best on specific bottle styles. Vacuvin works beautifully on Champagne bottles, but I’ve had some problems when using it with Australian bubbly. There are other manufacturers in this game too. I’d suggest buying and trying.
Recycle 2 For a long time I used whisky corks with the bottle stored on its side to keep the cork wet (i.e. swollen). I however had a cork fire in the fridge because there was too little wine left in the bottle. I then took to saving a 375ml champagne bottle (Champagne bottles are about as good as a bottle can possible get.) and using the Vacuvin Champagne Saver.
Improvise Finally, a niece gave me quite an ornate stopper meant for normal wine bottles but it is about 4 centimeters tall. This is enough, that when jammed into a bottle of bubbly and the bottle standing upright on the fridge shelf, the stopper is wedged between the top of the fridge and the shelf. It may not look pretty but it works. I am always amazed how much effervescence is left in a bottle of bubbly left in the fridge for a couple of days with just a regular wine cork jammed into it.
One last tip. Do NOT ever decant a sparkling wine into a fruit juice bottle or normal wine bottle. The pressure can explode a basic bottle, turning a lovely holiday treat into a dangerous grenade.
Thanks for your extensive reply to my question re bubbly wine corks. I happened to see a Ravi “Pop Pump” in WP Inside. It claims to keep the effervescence in all types of wine including champagne. After the Pump is placed on the bottle and the latches closed you press the top of the pump 10 to 12 times to build pressure in the bottle. You are warned to place one hand on the top of the pump when opening the latches to prevent a sudden ejection of the pump. Are you familiar with this Pop Pump and do you think a user might risk a cork firing off in the fridge? I was thinking of giving it as a Christmas gift but a little leery of the safety of it.
I would give it as a gift. I’m not as leery as you, and willing to mop up the occasional spill. If you store it upright you’ll be fine. Especially if you go from a room temperature or warmer-than-fridge temperature into the fridge.
Do it. These things work.