Sometimes, we find ourselves in a dilemma when wanting to indulge in a glass of champagne. Will the remaining contents degrade over time due to the bottle being opened? With recent innovation, the Perlage System was born. Just place a CO2 cartridge in the device’s pressurizer, then secure the champagne bottle in the shell enclosure. After that, insert the pressurizer into the champagne bottle through the regulator to purge air and pressurize it.
If the Perlage System is used properly, your next glass of champagne will taste the same as the first time the bottle was opened. Learn more about what you need and the step-by-step process to pull off this sparkling wine preservation process.
What is a Perlage System?
By definition, perlage is a term used to refer to the formation of bubbles when champagne is poured into a glass. This word was then adapted to the name of a device that is intended for preserving the quality of champagne or any sparkling wine. The Perlage System restores the headspace of a champagne bottle by refilling it with carbon dioxide to preserve the effervescence and flavor of Champagne for up to two weeks.
There are two types of Perlage Systems, the consumer that uses disposable CO2 cartridges and is best for home use. The second one is the commercial which uses an external source of CO2 and used at restaurants and bars. Both devices work the same way.
Parts of a Perlage System
To better understand how a Perlage system works, it’s crucial to first know its components.
A part of the enclosure made of plastic that is used to hold the bottle in place. It is designed solely for 750ml sparkling wine bottles. Other variants may not fit in the chamber or the other parts.
2. Regulator/ Cap
It is screwed on top of the shell to complete the enclosure. It is also where the pressurizer is inserted when refilling the bottle with carbon dioxide. It usually has a valve to keep the seal intact.
This is placed at the bottom of the shell so the two can be screwed together. It also houses the booster.
The booster sits in the base, and it looks like a bowl on top of a plate. It can be positioned on either side depending on the height of the bottle.
This handheld tool serves as a case for the CO2 cartridge. It separates into two pieces and can be put back together by screwing it. At the upper part is a button used to dispense the carbon dioxide.
6. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Cartridge
The source of carbon dioxide and is basically the fuel for the system. They are usually 16 grams, like the ones used for beer growlers. If used on a normal basis, one cartridge can preserve 2-4 bottles of champagne or sparkling wine.
What You’ll Need
- Perlage Champagne Preservation System
- Bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Step 1: Prepare the cartridge
- Unscrew the two parts of the pressurizer.
- If it has an 8-gram cartridge adaptor, remove and keep it for future use.
- Place the cartridge pointed side up in the bottom part of the pressurizer or the one without the button.
- Screw it back together, but do not make it too tight. Make sure that you will not hear any hiss of the gas escaping.
Step 2: Assemble the enclosure
- Separate the parts of the enclosure.
- Test whether the booster will be placed concave up (like a bowl) or concave down (inverted bowl) by placing the bottle in. Position accordingly.
- Cover the bottle with the shell, ensuring that the threads are secured in the base. Then twist clockwise until finger-tight.
Step 3: Purge the air
- Tilt the enclosure at a 45-degree angle.
- Use the pressurizer to purge the air from the headspace of the bottle by inserting it into the mouth of the bottle.
- Press the button for 2-5 seconds. The more the headspace, the more carbon dioxide is dispensed.
Step 4: Re-pressurize the bottle
- Screw the cap on top of the shell. Once it stops turning freely, do another half turn to seal the bottle. Avoid screwing too tight.
- Tilt the enclosure at a 45-degree angle once more and position the tip of the pressurizer according to the indentation of the cap. Align this properly so gas can’t escape.
- Push the button until the flow of the carbon dioxide stops. This is indicated by the halt of the hissing sound of the gas. This can take about 5-20 seconds, depending on the contents of the bottle.
Step 5: Store the enclosure with the bottle
- Place the enclosure in an upright position in a wine fridge or a regular refrigerator.
Tips and Tricks of Using a Perlage System
For a more efficient operation, don’t forget to follow these helpful tips.
Designed for standard or 750 ml bottles
The perfect example of a bottle that is fit for the Perlage System is the Dom Perignon Champagne. The shape is about right and can be covered by the shell properly. You’ll also have less time adjusting the booster because this bottle also has the right height.
Champagne bottles must have a thick lip
Following the example of Dom Perignon, notice that this bottle has a flange or a thick lip around the neck. This indicates that it is a highly carbonated sparkling wine. You can also use other bottles as long as they have this feature, otherwise, the perlage system will not work.
Pressurize the bottle every time it’s reopened
To maintain the quality of the sparkling wine, make sure to repressurize the bottle every time it’s opened again. However, it uses up CO2 cartridges, so it would be best to finish the bottle within one week to lessen the spending on cartridges.
Always start with the concave up orientation
When placing the booster, try the concave up position first. This position should be right most of the time. You’ll know that it’s the proper placement when the flange of the bottle protrudes the shell rather than being enclosed entirely. If this is not the case, only then should you flip the booster.
Only tighten finger-tight
Finger-tight means the level of tightness done with only the fingers’ strength. It also applies when opening something using the fingers with ease. This is to avoid difficulty in unscrewing the parts.
No need to disassemble the parts when pouring another glass
The next time you want to use the Perlage System, you only need to unscrew the cap slowly to release the gas, then remove it. Pick up the enclosure and pour the sparkling wine into a vessel. You can opt to remove the bottle from the chamber when served in a formal setting.
Check the contents of the cartridge from time to time
Sometimes, you’ll be unsure whether the bottle is filled with enough carbon dioxide or if the cartridge is already empty. To check the contents, hold the pressurizer, and briefly press the button. If gas still flows vigorously, the cartridge still has gas left. If not, it will have to be replaced. Usually, one cartridge can do 2-4 rounds of pressurizing or filling.
Perlage System Maintenance
When there is no more sparkling wine left, it’s time to disassemble the parts, starting with unscrewing the cap to release excess pressure. Then twist the base off, remove the bottle, and separate the booster.
Twist the pressurizer off as well and discard the CO2 cartridge. Wash every component by hand with soap and warm water. Please note that the Perlage System is not suitable for the dishwasher as it can degrade the structural integrity of the parts.
If the valve of the cap is broken, it must be replaced. Pull out the worn-out valve with your fingertips and place the new one correctly, ensuring that the conical hole in the red disk is pointing up.
The Perlage System is easy enough to use and an excellent investment. With it, you can drink or make cocktails without making any leftover sparkling wine flat. Sure, you will have to buy CO2 cartridges from time to time, but this is better than letting precious champagne go to waste.
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