And then it's five minutes past midnight, you're tired and full and ready to go to bed, and there you sit with two-thirds of a bottle of pricey wine that you don't want to waste. You try to jam the cork back into the bottle, but it won't fit ... sparkling-wine corks expand when they're relieved of pressure, and you can't squeeze them back into shape.
What's a frugal wine lover to do?
At the risk of sounding like a cut-rate Martha Stewart, here's a simple solution: Wrap the business end of your bottle with a double layer of plastic wrap, and hold it in place with a rubber band. Then put it in the refrigerator. A bit of carbon dioxide will build up in the bottle - but not strongly enough to pop off the plastic wrap - and this, plus the cold, will do a surprisingly good job of holding the wine for at least a couple of days. It will eventually oxidize and go flat, so it's best to finish it up soon. But it's a nice way to extend the holiday into the New Year, and a whole lot better than pouring an expensive wine down the drain.
Here's a delicious artisanal Champagne in the rose category, a Pinot-based beauty that's crisp and dry - a far cry from White Zinfandel.
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Rose ($34.99)
FOOD MATCH: Excellent with a light but luxurious dish crafted to match - spaghetti tossed with butter and red salmon caviar.
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Friday, Dec. 28, 2001