How To Store Champagne? (Full Guide)

    Storing Champagne

    Wine just doesn’t get any more luxurious than Champagne.

    So how can you store Champagne to make sure it doesn’t spoil?

    What should you do to make sure you are taking ultimate care of the ultimate sparkling wine?

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    How To Store Champagne?

    Wine Bottles on Shelves

    It may seem like a lot, but follow these simple rules and you’ll be storing your Champagne like a French sommelier in no time.

    1. Bottle Orientation

    Try to store your Champagne on its side where you can. Bonus points if you can put your bottle at a slight angle, too.

    Doing this will help to keep the cork moist, so it doesn’t dry out, whilst ensuring the Champagne’s flavours can still deliciously develop over time, too.

    2. Stillness 

    Try to disturb your Champagne as infrequently as possible.

    Stillness and lack of disturbances are key to Champagne’s longevity, as unnecessary movements can alter the taste of the wine.

    This is why standard refrigerators are not the best idea for long term storage and should be avoided where possible.

    3. Light Levels

    Champagne needs to be kept out of direct sunlight and away from any potential UV rays too as this will help to reduce the chance of any faults developing over time.

    4. Humidity

    Think cool and calm, like a cucumber.

    Long-term storage of Champagne requires a humidity level between 50-85%, in order to keep the cork moist.

    Just be aware that any more humidity will encourage mould damage so try and keep your Champagne within this range and not over.

    5. Temperature

    Champagne Temperature

    The best temperature for storing Champagne is between 10 and 13 °C (50-55 °F).

    Most wine cellars and specialised wine fridges should be set at this temperature range. 

    So taking all of that into account, what are the best places for storing Champagne?

    Where Should You Store Champagne Wine?

    Wine Storage

    When you’re looking for places to store your Champagne it’s important to find somewhere that covers the criteria above. 

    A wine cellar or a specialised wine fridge will be perfect for this, having been designed with your wine in mind. 

    If you don’t have either of those don’t panic, a garage, or food pantry will also work well here. 

    Just make sure to routinely check in with your Champagne to make sure they’re still looking in good condition.

    But how do you store your bottles of Champagne once they’ve been opened?

    How To Store Opened Champagne

    Wine Fridge

    Once you’ve popped the cork of your Champagne, it’s best to store the bottle in the fridge with a stopper in between servings. 

    Keeping the Champagne chilled and reducing the oxygen exposure will help to preserve both the freshness of the flavour and the vitality of the sparkle.

    But what about unopened bottles of Champagne?

    How To Store Unopened Champagne

    Try and lay your bottles on their side to help keep the cork moist as the cork is the secret to keeping unopened bottles of Champagne at their best.

    Just make sure you’re taking stillness, humidity, light and temperature into consideration when it comes to storing your Champagne and your bottles should last you for years to come! 

    How Long Can You Store An Opened Champagne Bottle?

    Champagne should keep and drink well for about 3-4 days after opening.

    Remember to use a sparkling wine stopper to help keep the fizz fresh as loss of sparkle can affect the taste over time. 

    Ideally, if you want to drink your Champagne at its best, the bottle should be consumed on the day of opening.

    So how should you store unopened bottles of Champagne?

    How Long Can You Store Champagne Unopened?

    Unopened Champagne should last between 1-3 years, as long as the bottles are stored with care.

    Premium Champagne, such as Vintage Champagne, can last even longer, with some varieties capable of being aged for at least a decade.

    So how should you place your Champagne bottles when storing them?

    Should Champagne Be Store Upright or Horizontally?

    Champagne Bottle Shelf

    If you can, try and store your Champagne horizontally by laying the bottles on their side.

    A wine rack or wine fridge with horizontal shelves will help to make sure they’re stored horizontally in a safe manner. 

    Doing so will help to stop your cork from drying out and ultimately spoiling your Champagne.

    So does this mean that Champagne is capable of going bad?

    Does Champagne Wine Go Bad? 

    Champagne may be the crème de la crème of sparkling wine but unfortunately Champagne can still go bad. 

    So try not to leave that prized bottle of fizz in the cellar for too long!

    So how can you tell if your Champagne is no longer good to drink?

    How Can You Tell Champagne Wine Has Gone Bad?

    Testing Sparkling Wine Freshness

    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.

    Do You Keep Opened Champagne In The Fridge?

    Wine Fridge

    Yes, once opened it’s a great idea to keep your - tightly sealed! - opened Champagne in the fridge.

    This will help to maintain its fresh, fizzy flavours for you to enjoy over the next couple of days.

    So should unopened Champagne go in the fridge, too?

    Do You Keep Unopened Champagne In The Fridge?

    Storing Opened Champagne

    Champagne doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge if it's unopened, which can help save on valuable refrigeration space.

    As long as you keep your Champagne in a cool, calm and dark place it can happily stay there for months if not years.

    Just place the wine in the fridge on the day you wish to drink it to get your Champagne to the right serving temperature.

    But does that mean that unopened Champagne has an expiration date?

    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 Champagne can age for 10+ years if it is stored correctly.

    Read our guide about how long Champagne lasts.

    How To Keep Opened Champagne Fresh?

    Ways To Keep Opened 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! 

    What To Do With Left Over Champagne?

    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.

    Summary of Champagne Storage

    Here's everything you need to know about Champagne storage:

    Topic Duration
    Opened Champagne 3-4 days
    Unopened Champagne 1-3 years (can age longer for quality wines)
    Storage for Opened Champagne Store in fridge with a stopper
    Storage for Unopened Champagne Store in cool, dark, and quiet conditions (lay on side if possible)
    Shelf Life of Champagne Drink within 2-3 years of purchase
    Signs of Bad Champagne No fizz, hazy appearance, strange smell, unpleasant taste
    Can You Keep Opened Champagne in Fridge Yes
    Keeping Unopened Champagne in Fridge Doesn't need to be but ideally kept in a wine fridge at 12-13 Degrees C 
    Expiration of Champagne Carbonation and flavour deteriorate over time

    Before You Go... 

    Wine Barrels

    We hope this provides you all the information you may need on how to store Champagne?

    Interested to know more about how long wine lasts? Check out our full guide here:

    How Long Does Wine Last

    If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, or email us at info@expertwinestorage.co.uk

    You can browse more posts on Wine Types here

    Expert Wine Storage can help you find a luxury wine fridge to store your precious wine collection.

    philip thompson Author: Philip Thompson
    Philip is the General Manager at Expert Wine Storage, and is very knowledgable about all things relating to wine and wine storage, including wine fridges. He is regularly featured in media outlets sharing his knowledge on wine. Connect on Linkedin

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