Pop Culture

Julia Child’s Kitchen, The Smithsonian and Champagne

December 20, 2009
In a video at the Smithsonian Museum, Julia Child explains that a champagne stopper or bouch kept her Dom Perignon bubbly three days after opening.

In a video at the Smithsonian Museum, Julia Child explains that a champagne stopper or bouch kept her Dom Perignon bubbly three days after opening.


We love champagne and sparkling wine for its tantalizing bubbles, but is there a good way to save those bubbles if you open a bottle and don’t finish it?

Absolutely, according to Julia Child, the woman who brought French cuisine and a taste for champagne to Americans with her cooking show and books. While travelling on the East Coast recently for Bubbly Bar tastings and book signings, I planned the trip so I’d have an extra day in Washington DC. I wanted to make sure to get to visit Julia Child’s kitchen at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
Julia Child says she served her best champagne - a bottle of Dom Perignon - to Bon Appetit editor Barbara Fairchild.

As soon as I walked into the kitchen exhibit, the first thing I heard was Child’s distinctive voice… talking about champagne! A video monitor was set up to play a series of videos on topics including her favorite kitchen gadgets. In this segment, Child pulls a gold champagne stopper off a bottle Dom Perignon. As she demonstrates, the champagne was still bubbly three days later.

I agree that one of the best ways to keep leftover champagne (yes, it does exist) fresh is with a stopper or bouchon in French specifically made for sparkling wines. The grey rubber stoppers that come with a vacuum hand pump are great for still wines, but useless with champagne because the bubbles easily escape.

I’ve been partial to champagne stoppers with two hinged arms that fit tightly around the lip of the bottle, like this one in the J Wine Cuvée 20 Collection gift set or this champagne saver and pourer from Vacu Vin. But the sleek one piece stoppers like this Domaine Carneros bouchon that work with suction are still quite effective if you can leave an open bottle sitting for long.

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