One of the frustrations I’ve had at home when making Champagne based drinks (French 75, Bellini, Champagne cocktail) is that I often only use a few ounces over the course of an evening. Even with some of the capping systems out there, the champagne goes flat within a week or less. If you have withheld from purchasing higher quality champagnes and sparkling wines because of potential wasted product, there is good news.
The Perlage Champagne Preservation System is a unique tool that will enable you to keep a $150 bottle of Dom Perignon or a $50 bottle of Domaine Carneros fresh indefinitely. How is this possible? Through a simple bottle-shaped mechanism and an easily used hand-held tool which removes all oxygen from the opened bottle and refills the space with fresh CO2. The whole process takes less than a minute. I tried this with three different carbonated beverages (Champagne, NV Sparkling Wine and Belgian Farmhouse Saison Ale) over a period of weeks and the flavor and character of each was indistinguishable from when I first opened the bottle.
The key to this system is to make sure that you only use 750ml bottles designed for high pressure carbonated beverages. So, when trying this out, make sure that the bottle has a thick lip around the cork and a concave base. If you’re looking to preserve a vintage Port or an expensive icewine, this is not the system for you. Other than that one caveat, not only will the Perlage system save you money, but it will increase the longevity and original flavors of your sparkling beverages.
There are two systems available at the moment, an at-home consumer version ($295), and the other designed for high turnover restaurant and bar use (ask for pricing). Both systems use the same basic principle and are as easy to use. The initial financial investment might seem a bit steep, but considering what even a few fairly inexpensive bottles of Champagne or cask conditioned ales costs, you will recoup your cost relatively quickly.
Even better news for mixologists is that a cocktail specific version will be released on May 1, 2011. This will allow you to carbonate any cocktail of your choice, thereby increasing your cocktail menu choices double fold for those customers who want to try something new. I’m looking forward to trying the Perlini when it becomes available. Stay tuned to Good Spirits News for more information this Spring!
GSN Rating: A+
The Perlage System can be ordered HERE