To continue on our bubbly journey, let’s talk about storing Champagne and other sparkling wines. There are awesome tools and gadgets to keep your wines in top shape before and after opening, but what about sparkling wines? How do I keep a bottle of Champagne good after opening? Will the fizz go flat?
How to properly store Champagne.
Keep the bottles upright. We all know that corked wines are supposed to be stored flat so that the cork doesn’t dry out and cause problems. However, for short term storage, it is best to keep sparkling wines upright.
This makes sure that the bubbles and carbonation are settled before you open it and any yeast sediment is settled to the bottom of the bottle. Again, this is only for short term storage. For long term storage, like more than a month, lay the bottles flat and then a couple of weeks before opening you can bring them upright to settle the carbonation and sediment.
Keep the bottles out of direct sunlight. Just like other wines, keep the Champagne bottle out of direct sunlight, heat sources, and artificial light.
Keep at a consistent temperature. This summer has been brutal…don’t let your wines suffer. While you don’t need to have a special temperature-controlled wine cellar, keeping all your wines at a steady and consistent temperature is important so that they don’t go through any harmful changes from too cool or too hot of temperature fluctuations. Room temperature is fine for storing all of your favorite wines.
Serving temperature: When you are ready to finally open your favorite bottle of Moet & Chandon, stick the Champagne in the fridge for a few hours before serving and set it next to the table in an ice bucket after opening. Sparkling wine is best enjoyed chilled and crisp. Sparkling wine is often served slightly colder than you would serve white wines, but whatever temperature you have your fridge at will do just fine.
How to store Champagne after opening
Never let your favorite sparkling wines go to waste! Contrary to popular belief, you can save sparkling wines without losing those precious bubbles. I don’t often have leftover sparkling wine, especially after a celebration. But here are some tips and tricks anyways to keep your sparkling wine crisp and bubbly.
Do not use wine pumps or gases. Wine pumps and gases are a great way to preserve still wines for up to a week. However, wine pumps should never be used on sparkling wines because it pumps out all the bubbles with the rest of the air in the bottle. Gassing your sparkling wine will cause the gas to get inside of the fizz and give your wine an off smell and taste.
Stopper your wine. Invest in a wine stopper. Most wine stoppers will fit all standard size still and sparkling wine bottles. They are reusable and allow very little oxygen into the wines after opening. If you don’t have a wine stopper on hand, plastic wrap and a rubber band will do the trick. Typically, you can also stick the cork back into the bottle. However, this does not work with sparkling wines because the cork expands so wide that there is no way to put it back into the bottle.
How long will an open bottle of Champagne last?
The life of an open bottle of good-quality Champagne that is stored properly is up to a couple of days. After that, the carbonation will start to dwindle, leaving you with a bubble-less bubbly.
Do you need to store vintage Champagne differently than other sparkling wines? No. Vintage Champagne simply means that all of the grapes used were harvested during the same year. Non-vintage Champagnes are common. This can mean that the wine was blended with other vintages of wine that have already aged a bit. This adds to the complexity of the wine and makes it ready for release sooner than those that have to age.
However, if it is a Reserve Champagne or sparkling wine, be sure to store it properly.
Reserve Champagne and Reserve sparkling wines mean that the wine was stored for a couple of years prior to release. You can be confident that the wine was stored properly at the Champagne houses before release. However, if you plan on keeping it any longer, be sure to use proper wine storing techniques to ensure you have the best quality wine when you choose to open it.
The wines do not have to be at a constant temperature. However, keeping things consistent and avoiding extremes is important. A wine rack or other proper wine storage is also recommended. This keeps wine organized and on their sides.
Reserve sparkling wines are delicious and they often spend time aging on the cuvees (dead yeast and other sediment). This gives them extra yeasty and bready flavors.
TIP: What about storing half-bottles? Half-bottles of Champagne or Prosecco are common. If you have extra space on your wine rack, store the half-bottles across the rack. The bottle will take up a couple of spaces but it will be with the rest of your wines and laying on its side.
Sparkling wine and Champagne is not just for special occasions and holidays either. Sparkling wines are perfect for pairing with your favorite seafood dishes and desserts. Try pairing them with your next oyster dinner or cheesecake. Sparkling wine is starting to become more mainstream with everyday drinking wines. Affordable Proseccos and Cavas have helped to make this happen. And for good reason! Good quality sparkling wines can be very affordable and are so good with food!
Did you know that a delicious Spanish Cava is only around $10? Yes, a high-quality sparkling wine can be that affordable.
Not sure about you, but all this talk of sparkling wine makes me want to dust off my Champagne glasses. Cheers!