A study published earlier this month in the peer-reviewed scientific journal ACS Omega found that the size of the bottle in which the champagne is stored has an effect on how long it can be aged before losing its effervescence.
Champagne requires carbonation, and many can improve through an aging process. However, aging also takes a toll on the beverage's ability to store carbon dioxide (CO2). As a result, a champagne that has been aged for too long may taste flat.
The study found that larger bottles were more efficient at retaining the carbon dioxide dissolved in the champagne. The study's authors examined aged champagnes stored in a variety of bottle sizes including standard 75 cL (1cL = centiliter = 1/100 liter) bottles, 150 cL magnum bottles and 300 cL jeroboam bottles.
Furthermore, they created a model to measure dissolved carbon dioxide concentration in the liquid over time.
The authors of the study noted that "increasing the bottle size is found to tremendously increase its capacity to preserve dissolved CO2 and therefore the bubbling capacity of champagne during tasting."
How big of a difference does bottle size make?
One figure depicted in the study is a model comparing the amount of dissolved CO2 in a bottle of champaign between bottles of 75 cL, 150 cL and 300 cL over time. After roughly 40 years, the 300 cL bottle retained significantly more CO2 than the 150 cL bottle and approximately double the CO2 of the 75 cL bottle. By year 100, the 75 cL bottle had nearly all of its dissolved CO2 depleted while the 300 cL yet retained more dissolved CO2 in its champagne than the 75 cL bottle had at year 40.
The study marks, "for the very first time, a long time-series dataset indicates that the bottle size plays a crucial role in the progressive decay of dissolved CO2 experienced by champagne during aging on lees."