Champagne is a special drink reserved for special occasions, thus it should be handled with care. The quality and flavor of wine may be preserved with the right storage conditions, whether you plan on saving it for a special occasion or drinking it tonight with friends.
Factors that Affect Champagne Storage
Several factors can affect the quality and taste of champagne, which is why proper storage is crucial. The most important factors to consider when storing champagne are:
Champagne's quality can be preserved by storing it at a cool, steady temperature. Champagne is best kept between 47 and 52 degrees Fahrenheit (7 and 11 degrees Celsius). Champagne should not be kept in places where it will age too quickly, such as under a heater or in full sunlight.
Champagne loses some of its luster when exposed to light. Champagne's flavor and aroma can be degraded by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Champagne should be kept in a cool, dark environment, away from any sources of light such as windows or lamps.
Cork, a natural material that can dry out if exposed to dry air, can likewise alter champagne storage conditions. Air can get into the bottle when the cork dries out, oxidizing the wine and spoiling it. Champagne should be kept in a humid environment with a relative humidity of between 60% and 75%. Champagne should be stored on its side, where the cork may retain its natural humidity levels.
Last but not least, champagne needs to be kept in a cool, dark spot where it won't be shaken. The sediment in the wine is easily disturbed by vibrations, which might alter its taste. Champagne should not be kept near noisy appliances like dishwashers or refrigerators.
How to Store Opened Champagne
If you've opened a bottle of champagne but can't finish it all in one sitting, don't worry – you can still preserve its quality by storing it properly. Here are some tips for storing opened champagne:
Re-corking the Bottle
Champagne should be stored in a cool, dark area after opening; simply re-cork the bottle and put it away. To avoid letting air into the bottle, make sure the cork is tightly in place. But remember that even with a secure cork, champagne will lose its fizz and flavor after a few days.
Using a Champagne Stopper
If you want your opened bottle of champagne to last longer, invest in a champagne stopper. These are made to precisely fit the top of the bottle, forming an airtight seal that will keep the champagne fresh for a week. Champagne stoppers are designed to prevent wine from seeping into the cork, thus bottles should be stored upright to maintain quality.
Storing in the Refrigerator
Champagne can be stored in the wine fridge for up to a week after opening if it won't be consumed within that time frame. To store for up to five days, cork or stopper the bottle and put it in the fridge. Champagne is best enjoyed at room temperature to bring forth its full flavor and fizz.
How to Store Champagne Long-Term
If you're planning to store champagne for more than a few months, such as for a special occasion or to age it, there are some additional steps you can take to ensure its quality. Here's how to store champagne long-term:
Choosing the Right Location
Champagne should be kept in a cool, dark place for extended periods of time. Find somewhere that is dark, cool, and devoid of temperature swings and tremors. A closet or wine cellar in an interior room is ideal.
Maintaining Ideal Temperature and Humidity
Long-term storage of champagne requires careful attention to temperature and humidity. Maintain a constant temperature of around 13 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) and a relative humidity of around 70%. A wine cooler or other type of humidity-controlled storage unit will do the trick.
Storing Champagne Horizontally
Champagne should be kept horizontally for long-term storage. The cork won't dry out and allow air into the bottle because of this.
Checking and Rotating Bottles
Champagne should be checked on occasionally, and bottles should be rotated if they are to be stored for an extended period of time. This ensures that the sediment in the bottle is spread out evenly, which is good for the wine's taste.
How to Store Champagne Short-Term
If you plan to consume your champagne within a few weeks or months, you can follow some simple guidelines to ensure it stays fresh and flavorful. Here's how to store champagne short-term:
Keeping the Bottle in a Cool Place
Champagne should be stored in a cool, dark place, out of direct sunlight, for the short term. The optimal range is from 7 to 10 degrees Celsius, or 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the bottle out of the kitchen or on a sunny windowsill where it could get too hot or humid.
Avoiding Direct Sunlight
Champagne that has been exposed to direct sunlight can quickly age and lose its flavor. The bottle should be stored in a dark spot, like a closet or a wine rack, to prevent the cork from drying out.
Not Storing in the Refrigerator for Too Long
Champagne will stay cool longer in the fridge, but you shouldn't keep it in there for too long. The cork may dry out and let air into the bottle if stored in a dry atmosphere. Champagne can be refrigerated for up to a few days if it will be consumed within that time frame. However, if you plan on keeping it for a longer period of time, a cool, dark environment is recommended.
How Long Can Champagne Be Stored?
Shelf Life of Unopened Champagne
Champagne, depending on the variety and quality, can age for up to 15 years if left unopened. Vintage champagnes, unlike non-vintage champagnes, which are mixed from grapes picked in separate years, benefit from extended aging. Champagnes from the Blanc de Blancs series, which are produced completely from Chardonnay grapes, can also be stored for a longer period of time.
Shelf Life of Opened Champagne
Champagne loses its fizz and flavor as soon as the bottle is opened. This is why champagne is best enjoyed within a few days of opening the bottle. Champagne should be refrigerated after opening to extend its freshness, and a champagne cork or airtight closure should be used to keep out air.
Champagne, once opened, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days before it begins to lose its flavor and freshness. The quality of the champagne, the conditions in which it is stored, and the type of closure used all affect how long it will keep. The use of a vacuum pump to remove air from a bottle of champagne in order to increase its storage life is contentious and may not be effective for all champagnes.
Signs That Champagne Has Gone Bad
There are a few telltale symptoms that your champagne has gone bad that you may look out for. The first is the champagne's physical appearance; if it's foggy or off-color, it may have gone bad. The second indicator is aroma; champagne should be thrown out if it has a vinegary or musty scent. Finally, if the champagne no longer has any fizz or bubbles, it may have lost its freshness and flavor.
Champagne is best enjoyed when it has been stored properly. Whether you plan to enjoy your champagne right away or save it for a special occasion, keeping it at the proper temperature and humidity levels will keep it tasting great and keeping its fizz. Champagne should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity. Champagne should be stored horizontally in a cool, dark place away from vibrations for the long term. Refrigerating the champagne and sealing the bottle tightly will keep it fresh for a limited period of time. Champagne, once opened, should be consumed within a few days or refrigerated with an airtight closure to preserve its freshness for as long as possible. Follow these guidelines and you'll be able to enjoy the distinctive aromas and bubbles of champagne at every celebration. Cheers!