With Christmas on the horizon, it's time to think about the festive drinks that will be needed to make the occasion go with a 'boom'. However, if it's the perfect champagne 'pop' you want then it's now possible to get that, thanks to academic Eugenia Cheng.

Dr Cheng of Sheffield University has used computer software to analyse the 'ring' produced by erupting champagne corks and has worked out the formula for the perfect 'pop'. Cheng has found that the most desirable ring is at a constant level - a pitch referred to as 'brilliance' and comparable to cymbals and bird calls. For sound experts it's a constant level between 8,000 and 12,00 Hertz.

So what's the answer to opening the festive bubbly? Cheng says that the champagne should be chilled for 40 minutes in an ice bucket, rather than a fridge, until it reaches 6.7'C or 44'F. (A typical fridge only cools a bottle to 11'C). The bottle should then be opened with  slight hand pressure rather than wrenching the cork. It should hopefully shoot out with a sound appealing to the human ear, on the same range as birdsong. However, by chilling the bottle for longer than 40 minutes, the bubbles inside have less energy and as less gas escapes there is a more pleasant 'pop' rather than a loud 'bang' when the cork shoots out. 

It all depends then on what turns you and your guests on at the end of the day - should the 'pop' be loud and bubbly or quiet and reserved? You choose!



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