While having a (good) bootle of wine at a friends place I've been told the following:

The bottle should be uncorked slowly and silently, not to spoil its bouquet.

This statement came as something completely new to me, and I do not understand what kind of physical/chemical reasons could justify it. Unfortunately, social reasons prevented me to ask directly to the upholder of this thesis.

Has anybody ever heard such a statement? Is it correct? A scientifically supported answer would be appreciated (therefore I add the tag chemistry to it).

Thank you for your support!

  • I've only heard that when referring to sparkling wine, and not to preserve the bouquet, but to limit the overspill from the carbonation. I'm interested in answers too.
    – Jolenealaska
    Jun 29, 2014 at 21:55
  • If I understand right, the claim is that it would spoil the bouquet of the entire bottle of wine, not just the little bit of air in the neck of the bottle right after opening?
    – Cascabel
    Jun 29, 2014 at 22:21
  • 6
    There are good reasons for carefully uncorking wine (broken cork, spillage, bubble overflow per @Jolenealaska) but I don't think "spoiled bouquet" is one of them. Sounds like the kind of silly stuff wine enthusiasts trot out to make sure wine upholds its image of snobbery.
    – Preston
    Jun 29, 2014 at 22:35
  • Agreed with all of the comments above. The biggest reason I've heard for careful uncorking of sparkling wine is that it's under pressure. On one memorable occasion I hit a guest with the cork from across the room when trying to move a little too fast.
    – logophobe
    Jun 30, 2014 at 0:15
  • I thank you all for your useful comments, and yes @Jefromi, I'm talking about the bouquet of the whole bottle of wine, not just the bit of air in the neck. I want to point out that the wine in question, a Grauburgunder, was not even sparkling. I still hope that someone can give a full answer to the question! Jun 30, 2014 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


This seems to be a myth based on the idea that wine can be 'bruised' by popping the cork or handling the bottle roughly.

'Dr Vinny', Wine Spectator Magazine's advice expert, has this to say on the subject:

Someone asked whether or not making a cork "pop" when you pull it will bruise the wine. Others have also asked about bruising in relation to decanting. I've never had a wine that was fine one moment and damaged the next because of handling, and can safely say that bruising wine is a myth.

Source: http://www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/5369

and also:

A wine does not get “bruised” by moving it around. And let me address some other myths, such as that wine will bruise if you make a cork “pop” or bruise if you decant it: no and no. Outside of smashing a bottle on a concrete floor, there is nothing I know of that will take a perfectly fine wine and damage it in one movement.

Source: http://www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/40542

You are more likely to have a problem with an old, crumbly cork falling into the wine than some pseudo-homeopathic magic going on when the cork pops.

  • 3
    In point of fact, pouring a red wine aggressively, so as to agitate it and incorporate air, will open the bouquet and improve the flavor.
    – DrRandy
    Jun 30, 2014 at 17:14

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