How to Store Champagne: Basic Tips For Home Storage
Wondering about the best way to store champagne? Here’s what you need to know, whether you’ve popped your bottle or not:
How Long Does Champagne Last?
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Champagne doesn’t last forever. Depending on the variety you have, champagne will last from a few months to a few years. Most champagnes you buy at the store are ready-to-drink and don’t need to be aged at all (though there are certainly exceptions).
Vertical or Horizontal?
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Most wines should be stored on their sides. This keeps the liquid against the cork, which prevents it from drying out and allowing air to seep inside. But champagne isn’t like most wines: The bubbles keep the bottle nice and humid, so the cork drying out isn’t really a risk. In fact, some experts even recommend storing your champagne bottles upright to prevent cork taint, or a musty smell and flavor that can happen when the bottle’s tight seal is compromised.
If you’re just storing champagne for a short while, though, it doesn’t really matter what angle it’s in.
Temperature is key when it comes to wine storage and champagne is no exception.
The ideal temperature is between 45° and 65° (many purists keep their collection at exactly 55°). Anything above 70° can degrade the wine, while cold temperatures could dry out the cork and allow oxygen inside the bottle. Kitchen refrigerators should be kept at 40° or slightly below to ensure food safety, so the fridge is probably not your best bet for long term wine storage.
More important, though, is to keep the temperature consistent. Extreme temperature changes will cause the liquid to expand and contract, which could cause seepage.
Do You Need a Wine Fridge to Store Champagne?
It depends on how serious you are about your collection. If you’re the kind of person who only keeps a few bottles around your house at a time for casual drinking, a wine fridge is probably a waste of money.
However, if you are an avid collector or someone who enjoys having a wide selection available at all times, it may be a necessary purchase. This is especially true if you live in a hot or humid climate—a wine fridge ensures your expensive bottles are protected from the inhospitable environment. On the market for a wine fridge? This top-rated model is currently $100 off on Amazon!
Step Away From the Freezer!
Never, under any circumstances, store champagne in the freezer. Freezing and thawing change certain foods and beverages on a fundamental level, so it is absolutely not recommended when it comes to champagne. Not only will freezing destroy the bubbles (which are necessary for, you know, bubbly), but it will dull the nuanced flavors and aromas.
How to Store Open Champagne
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It’s best to go ahead and drink the bottle as soon as you open it, as champagne tends to go flat relatively quickly after opening—so only open a bottle if you mean it! If this isn’t feasible, follow these simple tips to prolong its life:
- Keep it cool. An ice bucket is recommended, but the fridge will work just fine for this purpose. The cold temperature will keep the bubbles intact.
- Use a hermetic cork. In other words, don’t just shove the cork it came with back in the bottle and call it a day. A reusable hermetic cork is airtight, so pesky oxygen can’t sneak in and ruin the leftover champagne. This one, which you can buy on Amazon, is under $10 ($7.99, amazon.com).
- No hermetic cork? No problem. You’ve just gotta work with what you’ve got: Improvise with plastic wrap and a tightly wound rubber band.