Dear Champagne lovers and enthusiasts,
One of the first things you need to learn about champagne is that it is quite a fragile wine. Storing good champagne inadequately will significantly impair its quality. Good champagne storage is important and involves respecting certain conditions.
Have you just bought or are planning on buying a large quantity of champagne, and are wondering how to store it? Or are you maybe not sure how to store champagne once you’ve opened the bottle? Read on to discover how important it is to store good champagne properly.
So, how do you store your champagne so that it can be enjoyed to its fullest potential?
As champagne has no secrets for me, let me share some tips for optimal champagne storage.
How to conserve a bottle of champagne before opening it?
Where to keep it and at what temperature?
Like all wines, an unopened bottle of champagne must be kept away from draughts and light, since light, especially daylight, will definitely impair its quality. That’s why it’s best to keep the bottles in a dark, quiet, place away from sudden movements and vibrations.
The storage location should be cool and at a constant temperature: never above 20°C, and ideally at a temperature between 10 and 12°C.
The humidity level, known as hygrometry, should be high, somewhere between 60 and 70%.
Do we keep the bottles upright or horizontal?
Ideally you should store your bottles horizontally. If you store them upright, the cork will not be soaked and may dry out, which might cause gas leakage and a loss of effervescence. That is why it is best to keep the bottles in a horizontal position.
Can I consume it immediately after purchase ?
Whatever bottle of champagne you buy, will be perfectly matured when sold, so you can drink it immediately. Aging will have been done in the cellar and is a practice perfectly mastered by the wine producer. It’s never too early to open a bottle of champagne!!
How long can champagne be kept?
If you decide not to open your bottle, it can be kept for one to several years depending on the type of vintage and the quality of the champagne.
If you have vintage champagne, you can easily keep your bottle(s) for several years, as when a cuvée is vintage, it means that it was produced during an exceptional year. To merit the term ‘vintage’, the harvest of the grapes, the production and the bottling of the wine must all be done in the same year. These champagnes improve over time.
On the other hand, if you have bought a “brut without year” champagne, it is best to serve it quickly. These champagnes are a blend of several wines from different years and are often of a lower quality. Keeping them in storage too long might alter their taste.
Without a real cellar, how do you keep champagne?
If you don’t have a cellar to store your bottles, I would recommend keeping your champagne in a bottle rack, in a dark place, with a temperature if possible, between 10 and 12 °C. In order not to impair the quality, make sure the temperature does not exceed 20°C. Following these measures will ensure that your champagne is kept and preserved in the best possible conditions.
Why not read this interesting article on the best wine cellars 2022 below:
How to store an opened bottle of champagne?
Before you open it:
If you want to store your bottle once it has been opened, don’t saber your champagne, as this will break the neck and prevent you from resealing it. Also be aware that the more champagne you leave in the bottle, the better the champagne will keep its taste.
It is recommended that you keep an opened bottle in a cool place, in the original bottle, with an airtight cork.
It is not recommended that you decant the champagne into another container, as the original bottle is specially designed to preserve the effervescence. As for the “special champagne” hermetic stopper, it will help prevent the fizz from escaping for several hours. If you don’t have an airtight stopper, you can simply put a bit of cling film on top of the bottle and secure it with an elastic band.
If you follow these steps, you will be able to keep your bottle for 48 hours. During this period, you can either drink it or use it to prepare a delicious dish such as risotto with champagne or oysters with champagne.
Can we put a bottle of champagne in the freezer?
Imagine the scenario..your guests are arriving, your bottle of champagne is not chilled and you come up with the idea of putting it in the freezer… Stop right there! Don’t even think about it. Putting champagne in the freezer is not recommended, as the cold temperature will break its fragile bubbles and alter its delicate flavor. Champagne is a fragile wine, and doesn’t tolerate cold temperatures.
Contrary to popular belief, champagne should be served chilled but not iced. If it’s served too cold the aromas will not be fully released and the cold temperature will stun the taste buds.
For champagne to fully reveal its flavors, it should be served at a temperature of 9°C.This is the ideal temperature for the champagne to express its diverse aromas on the palate.
This article has outlined the standards to respect to to keep your champagne in optimal conditions and preserve its quality and flavors. To learn more about champagne, check out my articles: the history of champagne, what to eat with champagne and the secrets of making champagne wine according to the champagne method.