Did you receive a lot of champagnes as your wedding gift? Or have you been thinking of saving up a bottle or two for a special occasion? You might be wondering how to store champagnes the proper way. We are here with an answer.
Whether vintage or non-vintage, opened or unopened, this article has all the hacks of storing a champagne bottle. Keep scrolling and read our article on the perfect way you can save the lovely bubblies for a long time (at least as long as you resist the temptation of savoring it).
Are All Champagne The Same?
No, not all champagnes are the same, nor are the ways of storing them. Champagnes are special sparkling wines that are usually made from three types of grapes: the Chardonnay, the Pinot Noir, and the Pinot Meunier. Champagnes are generally available in two varieties: the vintage champagnes and the non-vintage champagnes.
Vintage champagne is made from only one type of grapes harvested in one specific year. They are usually aged for three to four years before they hit the shelves.
On the other hand, non-vintage champagnes are produced by blending grapes from multiple harvests. They are usually aged for 15 months and are considerably cheaper.
Not sure how to distinguish between the two types? The trick is to look for the Vintage year on the front label of the Champagne bottles.
All vintage champagnes have the Vintage year mentioned on their bottle labels. This year denotes the year of the grape harvest, which has been used to produce the champagne. In comparison, non-vintage champagne bottles do not have any particular year specified on their labels.
The type of champagne you have determines how long you can store it. Unopened vintage champagnes, when properly stored, can be shelved for up to 5-10 years, while non-vintage champagnes, if kept unopened, can only be stored for 3-4 years.
Now that you know the difference between vintage and non-vintage varieties, let’s find out how to store champagne the right way.
How To Store Champagne?
According to wine connoisseurs, storing champagnes are not quite different from storing other sparkling wines. However, the way of shelving might vary depending on the length of time you want to store it.
Whether the bottle is corked or uncorked also plays a part in determining the method of storing the champagne. Let’s find out how to store champagne, both in unopened or opened bottles.
How To Store Unopened Champagne Bottles?
No one would want to see the gorgeous bubblies go to waste. Have a bottle-leftover from the party you hosted last week? Or did you receive too many bottles on your birthday? A proper way of storage can not only prolong the lifespan of the champagne but can also enhance its flavor. Here are the basic things that you must keep in mind while storing a champagne bottle.
1. Keep It Cool (And Dry)!
Like all sparkling wines, you need to store champagnes in a cool, dry place. Temperature and humidity play a vital role in maintaining the integrity of the champagne. Fluctuation in the temperature can spoil the quality of the bubblies.
A temperature range of 7-10 C is considered optimal for storing champagne. And the humidity of the surrounding atmosphere must not be more than 60-70%.
2. Keep The Sunshine Away!
You might love to bask under the sun, but the champagne certainly does not. Champagnes are sensitive to sunlight. Thus, it would be best if you store it in a place where it is safe from direct exposure to sunlight.
3. Keep Odor Out!
Any strong odor can alter the inherent aroma of the fine champagnes. It is best to store it in a secluded area where no foul or pungent smell can reach. It is also vital to keep champagnes away from vibration as it can damage the liquor’s integrity.
4. The Angle Matters!
Whether you have stored the champagne bottle horizontally or vertically also influences its lifespan. If you are planning to open the bottle within 3-4 weeks, it can be stored vertically in a wine cooler.
However, if it is stored vertically for a longer duration, the moisture in the cork might dry out and loosens it. This will cause the champagne to get contaminated with the external air and moisture, spoiling its quality.
So, if you are planning to save the bottle for a year or two, you should shelve it at a horizontal angle. This shelving will ensure that the cork remains in contact with the champagne. It will keep the cork moist and ensure that the bottle stays air-tight and leak-proof.
5. Say No To Freezer!
It is recommended not to store champagne in a freezer. It might over-chill the liquor and destroy its natural flavors and also its bubbles. Also, if the freezer is compressor-powered, the vibration of the machine can be deleterious for the champagne.
Conventionally, champagne is chilled in a fridge before serving. It preserves its fizz and makes it crispier.
How To Store Opened Champagne Bottles?
Couldn’t finish the last bottle you opened at the party and worried that it would go to waste? Fret not. If you are wondering how to store champagne once you have uncorked the bottle, we are here with the answer.
Though once opened, it is recommended that you should consume the champagne within 3-5 days. There are some hacks that can keep the liquor bubbly and fresh for that time being.
- Keep a hermetic seal handy: Sometimes, recorking an opened champagne bottle can be difficult. That’s when a champagne sealer comes to help. This little metal device keeps the bottle air-tight and prevents leaking.
- Refrigerate it: Keep the champagne in your fridge or cooler in an upright position for the next 3-5 days. This process will preserve the bubble and the flavors of the champagne.
- Plastic wrap and Rubberband might work as well. They will keep the champagne sealed and also prevent spilling.
Are You A Passionate Wine Collector? Here’s What You Need To Know About Long Term Storing Of Champagne
Collecting wine is no easy hobby. To store a vast collection of champagne for a long time, you have to take care of the temperature and humidity of the storage area and also have to keep the liquor property shelved. Here are three tips on how to store champagne collection for the long term.
- Invest in a wine rack or cellar: Look for wooden or metal cabinets that will be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the bottles. Avoid free-standing racks for storing large quantities of bottles as it may topple over. It’s wise to go for models that need to be screwed to the wall, preferably in your basement.
- Keep the rack in an insulated room: The best storage condition for storing your champagne collection is in a room with no more than 50-60% humidity. Also, make sure that the room is well insulated, and there is no extreme fluctuation of temperature.
Cover the windows, so there is no direct sunlight. Keep the temperature constant between 10-15 C.
- Keep the bottles on a flat rack: lay your champagne assortments on flat shelves and make sure they are in a horizontal angulation.
Spotted A Damaged Cork? Here’s How To Check For Spoiled Champagne
Have you just spotted a dried up or leaky cork on the vintage bottles you saved up from the last New Year’s party? We know this can freak out anyone. But don’t rush to drain the champagne down the sink. Here’s how you can check if it has gone bad, or you can still drink it.
Sadly, there isn’t a sure-shot way of knowing whether the champagne has gone off. However, the contaminated champagnes usually show some signs if it has gone bad. So, if you are worried that the champagne has gotten spoiled, look for:
- Absence of fizz: If the champagne has been in contact with the eternal air for a long time, its effervescence will disappear.
- Change in color: The color of the champagne may get altered if it has been spoilt for long.
- Strange odor: If the cork has dried out, any outside smell might get sipped into the champagne and alter its innate aroma.
- Sour or Flat taste: If the champagne has gone off, it might taste sour or flat.
It is good to know that champagnes don’t actually expire. Though there will eventually be changes in its aroma and flavor, and the fizz will die out over time, you can still drink it up. Nonetheless, if you store the champagne properly, it won’t get spoiled any time soon.
Keep The Fizz Alive!
No celebration is complete without clinking a glass of champagne. However, not always do we finish a bottle in one go. That’s why it becomes important to know how to store champagne bottles without risking any spoilage. With this little guide, we are hopeful that we have addressed your concern about storing champagnes.
Have a bottle lying around for long? Why wait for an event, when every day with our loved ones can be a celebration? Now that you know how to store opened champagnes, pop-open a bottle today, enjoy the fizz, clink the flutes with your friends and immerse yourself in its aroma.