There’s nothing as elegant as serving a glass of perfectly chilled champagne. However, sometimes all you want to do is taste the champagne or have a glass with a few dishes. You do not have to drink the entire bottle!
Yes, you can store champagne and today we will tell you how to do it best so that your champagne does not go to waste and still tastes delicious!
How Long Does Champagne Last?
Your bottle of champagne has a shelf life of about 3 to 5 days once it is opened. After this period of time, most bottles will lose their bubbly and taste rather flat. When the champagne is flat, it means that all the flavours in the bottle have evaporated which means it is likely you will not enjoy your champagne anymore.
There are certain sparkling wines that do not last as long as traditional sparkling wines such as champagne and cava. Prosecco and moscato are among these categories. You should drink Prosecco and moscato as soon as possible and definitely within the three days of first popping the cork.
If however, your bottle of champagne is unopened, there are certain ways to store it in order to extend its shelf life. Read on because we’ll talk about that.
First, we have to find out…
How to Keep The Bubbles in Champagne?
Keeping the fizz in champagne is so essential in order for your bottle of champagne to not go flat.
The best tips for you when it comes to keeping a bottle of champagne fresh and bubbly is to..
- Pop a champagne stopper into the bottle.
If you do not plan on finishing your bottle of champagne, have a champagne stopper on hand.
Champagne stoppers are airtight which means that the gas is unable to escape the wine.
Once you have poured the amount of champagne into a glass – whether it is a flute or tulip shaped glass – immediately clamp a stopper onto the bottle. Even between refilling your glass, you can do that. It is not limited to when you do not finish the bottle of champagne.
- Stuff a cork into the bottle
If you don’t have a champagne stopper on hand, you can stuff a regular wine cork into your champagne bottle.
The aim is to keep oxygen out and the champagne bubbles in! At the very least, stuffing a wine cork into the bottle of champagne will help.
- Wrap with cling wrap
If both champagne stopper and wine corks are not available, just use cling wrap and secure it with a rubber band.
Remember, the purpose is to keep the fizz in champagne.
It does not matter which of the above methods you use, as long as you cover the bottle as tightly as possible. Although some people have sworn and said that the spoon-in-the-bottle trick works, it does not! Cover your bottles!
The spoon-in-the-bottle trick is when people put a teaspoon, handle downwards, into the champagne bottle’s mouth. The origins of this tactic is uncertain but research has shown that there was no effect in the preservation of carbonation and effervescence.
- Store in the fridge
This is essential! Any of the three methods mentioned above will work only if you store your bubbly in the fridge. Not the freezer.
The science behind is that the colder the champagne, the slower it releases the carbon dioxide or CO2, which keeps the bubbles right in your sparkling wine!
How to Store Champagne?
You have to store champagne correctly so that the quality is not affected. It is likely that you have a few bottles of champagne to be enjoyed at home so a cellar is out of the question unless you’re staying in an old period house.
So how do you do it? Here a few pointers so that your champagne’s quality is not affected.
- Lay bottles horizontally
For the short term of up to a month, bottles can be stored standing up. It is more practical this way.
However, for long term storage, it is best that bottles of champagne should be laid down horizontally. You can use a wine rack or stacked in a way a cellar stacks bottles.
If it is kept standing for too long, there is a risk of the cork drying out.
- Keep bottles away from bright light
It is essential to keep champagne away from bright and artificial light. Try to keep them away from vibrations as well.
Although your home does not have a cellar, we try to emulate a cellar’s settings and wine cellars are kept dark for a reason, which is to maintain the quality of champagne and wine.
- Consistent temperature
The ideal temperature for storage of champagne bottles is at 10°C to 13°C. However, what is more important is the consistency of temperature storage instead.
If temperature fluctuates a lot, it will kill the champagne or sparkling wine. Places like the kitchen, garage or sheds should not be a storage place for champagnes as these locations have temperatures that are ever changing.
- Do not store forever
Before being sold, champagnes are already aged properly. Therefore, it is not necessary to store it for a long time.
Generally, non-vintage champagnes can be kept unopened for three to four years. Vintage champagnes on the other hand, can be stored anywhere between five to ten years.
Usually, champagnes will lose their bubbles as they age and over time, the flavours will mature. This will change the taste and aroma of the champagne. As they age, champagne will also become a deeper, golden colour.
How Do You Know if Your Champagne is Bad?
Unfortunately, champagne can go bad and spoil.
When champagne has gone bad, the taste of it will be flat and the aroma will have faded. Instead, the smell of vinegar will be very strong.
Generally, bad champagne tastes sour and quite unpleasant. Although you can use it for cooking, it is likely you will be turned off by it and avoid using it for any dish at this point.
To avoid having your champagne turn bad, you can use the methods as mentioned above and invest in a proper champagne stopper.
Another option would be to finish everything! Save your bottles of champagne for when you have company or when you are really celebrating an occasion.
How to best serve champagne?
There are a few things to keep in mind when serving champagne, whether it is half a bottle or an unopened bottle in order to ensure the quality of the bubbly remains.
Champagne needs to be chilled. Optimum serving temperature for champagne is between 8°C to 10°C.
You can chill the bottle in your fridge for about three hours before serving or leave it in a bucket of ice and water for 30 minutes.
However, never put your champagne in the freezer as this will kill its bubbles and before you know it, your champagne has gone flat!
Be careful when opening champagne
There is about five to six atmospheric pressure within a bottle of champagne. This means that it can pop a cork out at 50mph. Yes, people have actually died from a flying cork. Be careful!
To open a bottle of champagne, hold the bottle away from you at a 45 degree angle. Place the cork in the palm of your hand whilst holding the base and twist the bottle slowly. You will feel the cork loosen eventually.
If the cork refuses to move, run the neck of the bottle over some warm water for a few seconds. That should do the trick.
There is nothing more noteworthy than a person being able to open a bottle of champagne properly!
Do not make it pop
Champagne should be opened with a hiss rather than a loud pop! In a restaurant or when you are dining outside your home, other guests should not be disturbed by the popping sound of a champagne bottle.
Indeed, you have to have great control to open the bottle slowly but it is better etiquette to do so.
Of course, there are circumstances in which the pop, fizz, clink is considered important. When celebrating an occasion, the pop certainly adds a warm atmosphere and gives the party a sense of festivity. So if you have an occasion to celebrate, pop away!
Serve it in a glass
The ideal glass to serve champagne in is actually a tulip shaped glass! This is the best way to keep bubbles in.
The width of the champagne coupe, which is said to be modelled after Marie Anoinette’s breast, is more popular but the bubble and aromas of your bubbly are quickly lost into the air if this glass is used. It will not last as long.
Champagne is such an exquisite drink and you definitely do not want to waste even a drop of it, so purchase only the best affordable champagne! It is advisable to store it properly if you are storing it for a longer period of time or if it is drunk halfway to ensure the quality of your bubbly is intact. Serve champagne properly, in the right way and enjoy its light, delicate and complex nature of it!