The question of how long Champagne lasts is one on many peoples lips given this refreshing and crisp drink is the ideal drink for many occasions and celebrations.
After all no one likes a glass of flat, bubble-less Champagne which has been left sitting open in the fridge for 7 days.
Yeah - no thanks!
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How Long Does Champagne Last?
Non-vintage Champagne can be stored unopened for up to 3-4 years, while vintage Champagne lasts 5-10 years. But once opened, both types shelf life is 3-5 days due to Champagnes high sugar content, which causes it to lose flavour faster than other wines.
|Type of Champagne||Unopened Shelf Life||Opened Shelf Life|
|Non-vintage Champagne||Up to 3-4 years||3-5 days|
|Vintage Champagne||5-10 years||3-5 days|
|Fine Wine||10+ years||3-5 days|
And when it comes to long term life, many think Champagne is the same as fine wine (which can be aged for 10+ years), however Champagne has a shorter shelf life.
Here we're going to give you all the advice and tips you need to help store and preserve your Champagne (for longer), so it tastes better and fresher for longer when it's both opened and unopened.
Related: How To Store Champagne
You'll discover the best storage methods, plus how to make the most of any leftover Champagne.
Firstly, it's important to understand if a champagne is vintage or non-vintage.
Vintage Champagne is produced using a grape from the same year of harvest while non-vintage Champagne is created using grapes from multiple years of harvest.
While vintage Champagne requires a bottle age of 3 years prior to its release from the winery, non-vintage needs 18 months before being released from the winery.
You can tell if a Champagne bottle is vintage by taking a look at the label. If there's a year listed on the bottle - it's a vintage Champagne, if you can't find a date its non-vintage.
Generally, vintage Champagnes are of a superior quality compared to non-vintage and are more suitable for ageing and storing.
Shelf Life Unopened
Shelf Life Opened
Non - Vintage Champagne
|3-4 Years||3-5 Days|
|5-10 Years||3-5 Days|
Unopened Champagne Shelf Life
When stored properly in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and with low humidity levels, unopened vintage champagne can last up to 5-10 years while non-vintage champagne can last up to 3-4 years.
To maximise the enjoyment of the bottle is best to drink all Champagnes 1-3 hours after the bottle has been opened.
Champagne is best served chilled at between 6-8 degrees so it's perfectly cold and crisp.
Opened Champagne Shelf Life
Opened bottles of Champagne should be consumed within 1-3 days to maximise taste and freshness.
The longer the bottle is opened the higher the likelihood of the quality of the Champagne diminishing from the original intended taste - when it's a freshly opened bottle.
You can make the most of it by freezing it or incorporating it into your dishes. With a little imagination, you can ensure that no drop of Champagne is wasted!
- Turn leftover into ice cubes: Making ice cubes with leftover Champagne is a great way to use Champagne that might otherwise get poured down the sink. Simply pour the leftovers into an ice cube tray and freeze the Champagne for use in a drink later on.
- Use it to make a white wine sauce: Another way to use leftover Champagne is to make a white wine sauce for seafood or pasta.
- Use it in a vinaigrette: Champagne can also be used to make a delicious salad dressing by enhancing the flavours of the vinaigrette.
Where And How to Store Champagne?
The best place to store open and unopened bottles of Champagne is in a fridge or a wine fridge.
Keeping Champagne at a lower temperature of 6 degrees reduces the release of the bubbles in the liquid which give Champagne its fizzy, crisp taste.
Remember to store open bottles of Champagne standing upright to avoid unwanted spillages in the fridge!
Storing Unopened Bottles of Champagne
For unopened bottles of Champagne, the best way to preserve its quality is to store bottles in a cool, dark place such as a refrigerator or wine fridge.
Its important unopened bottles are protected from sun light exposure (UV rays), temperatures above 12 degrees and unwanted humidity levels (greater than 75%) or humidity levels which fluctuate from low to high levels.
Lastly keep your unopened bottles of Champagne away from any unwanted odours which can seep into the bottles through the corks over long periods of time.
Storing Opened Bottles of Champagne
After opening a bottle of Champagne, one of the most effective ways to preserve the quality of it is to store it in a cool, dark place, such as a refrigerator or wine fridge.
Cool air and temperatures slow the release of carbon (which gives Champagne its fizz) keeping the bubbles around for longer.
Whatever you do, do not put Champagne in the freezer - freezing your Champagne will destroy its fizziness!
To keep Champagne fizzy, keep the bottle upright and consider using a wine cork or stopper designed to vacuum out air from inside the bottle and sealing the bottle as soon as possible after opening.
Does Champagne Go Off?
Yes, Champagne does go off if it isn't stored correctly. The taste of an opened bottle of Champagne will diminish after 1-3 days (even if it is stored correctly), leading the taste to become flat and bubble-less.
However, unopened bottles of Champagne doesn't expire for at least 3 years if it is stored correctly at 6-12 degrees.
After 3-4 years unopened non-vintage Champagne can start to lose its desired taste while vintage Champage can age for 10+ years if it is stored correctly.
How to Tell If Champagne Has Gone Bad
Use your eyes, nose and taste buds to judge if the taste of your Champagne has gone bad:
- The Eye Test: Pour a small amount of the Champagne into a clear glass and take a look at it with your eyes. The Champagne is most likely expired if its light yellow colour has turned more of a yellowy, brown colour. This happens due to oxidation and being exposed to warm temperatures too.
- The Smell Test: Pour a small amount of Champagne into a glass and smell it with your nose. If it smells musty or off, best to discard it and don't drink it.
- The Taste Test: Furthermore, if the eye and smell test aren't sufficient to tell if the Champagne has gone bad you can also have a small sip of the Champagne. If it lacks its usual crisp, zingy, bubbly taste, it's probably best to throw it away. To enjoy Champagne before it goes off, consume it within 1-3 days of opening to experience the best flavour, while storing it in the optimal, cool conditions to maintain its drinkability.
Related Guide: How Many Calories Are In Champagne?
How Do You Keep Champagne Fresh & Fizzy
After opening, the best way to keep Champagne fresh is in the fridge or a wine fridge. Use a tight wine cork made for sparkling wines like Champagne and champagne to keep the Champagne effervescent.
Here are a few other ways to keep opened bottles of Champagne tasting better for longer:
Method 1 - Use a metal spoon
Dangling a spoon in the mouth of the bottle before placing it in the fridge keeps the bottle neck cooler (than it would be without the spoon).
The spoon forms an air plug above the Champagne, which can help prevent the your Champagne from going flat!
Method 2 - Keep the bottle cold
To keep a fizzy level of bubbles in your Champagne, keep the open bottle refrigerated (at 6-8 degrees celsius) until you're ready to drink it again. This reduces the loss of carbonation.
Method 3 - Put a cork in it
To further prevent carbonation loss (fizz and freshness reduction) use an airtight cork to seal the bottle with plastic wrap fastened by a rubber band and refrigerate it or an air tight suction wine stopper like a coravin. But even if you do use a wine stopper - put the bottle in the fridge too!
Does Champagne Improve With Age?
Vintage Champagne can improve with age, while its widely believed that non-vintage Champagne does not get better with age (although there are those who believe that it can improve with age).
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Summary of How Long Can Champagne Last
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