How to Store Champagne Properly

5th September 2023

champagne vollereaux pouring

A bottle of Champagne is a great option for any occasion, so it never hurts to have some on hand. Whether you have a bottle for a significant event or wish to store it for future enjoyment, understanding how to store Champagne is essential. In this article, let’s explore the art of preserving Champagne, covering everything from its shelf life to storage methods to savor every bubble.

Understanding Champagne’s Shelf Life

When indulging in a glass of Champagne, it’s essential to know its shelf life to enjoy it to the fullest. Like most alcoholic drinks, it has a limited shelf life once opened. Champagne remains at its best for about three to five days after opening. After this period, it may lose some of its sparkle and subtle flavors, gradually becoming flatter.

Depending on various factors, such as its components and brand, Champagne can retain its quality for up to a year. However, this timeline can vary, ranging from several months to a few years.

For unopened Champagne bottles, the storage duration depends on the style and vintage.  Usually, carefully stored Champagne can last between three to seven years. Vintage Champagne often outlasts non-vintage varieties, with some exceptional bottles improving even after a decade. However, it’s crucial to note that while some Champagnes continue to evolve positively, others may begin to lose their luster over time.

Can Champagne Get Contaminated?

There are several hazards that make food unsafe like biological, chemical, and physical hazards. As a result, like with any other drink, Champagne can also get contaminated. Spoiled Champagne exhibits undesirable changes in taste and aroma, often prompting individuals to discard it in favor of a fresh bottle. The presence of yeast or other factors can result in bloating or excessive gas formation, adversely affecting the beverage’s quality.

Champagne’s Aging Potential

Champagne, known for its aging potential, can mature gracefully over time. Some exceptional Champagne can evolve positively for over 20 years in certain cases. The aging process allows the wine to develop complex flavors and aromas, making it a delightful choice for connoisseurs. However, it’s essential to differentiate between non-vintage and vintage Champagnes in terms of aging potential. Non-vintage Champagne is typically crafted for immediate consumption.

While they can be stored for three to four years under optimal conditions, they may not benefit significantly from additional aging. On the other hand, vintage Champagne, produced from exceptional harvests, have more extended aging potential. When stored appropriately, they can be enjoyed for five to ten years or more after opening. Refrigeration plays a pivotal role in preserving their flavor.

Unopened Champagne Storage Tips

Maintain Good Temperature

Temperature plays a pivotal role in Champagne storage. Ideally, Champagne should be kept between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with 55 degrees being the preferred temperature. Temperatures exceeding 70 degrees can compromise the drink’s quality, while excessively low temperatures may dry out the cork, permitting oxygen ingress. Standard kitchen refrigerators, typically set below 40 degrees for food safety, are not suitable for long-term storage.

Upright and Horizontal

Unlike most wines, Champagne’s shelf life is unaffected by its storage orientation. Champagne can be stored upright for short durations, typically up to a month, and horizontally for extended periods.

This deviation from traditional wine storage practices is attributed to the pressure inside the Champagne bottle, which keeps the cork moist and intact. Some experts suggest that storing Champagne on its side might prevent cork taint, a phenomenon where wine comes into contact with the cork, potentially impacting its taste.

Tips for Preserving Opened Champagne

An opened bottle of Champagne quickly loses its sparkle, turning flat within a short period. To enjoy its bubbliness for a long time, consider the following tips:

Airtight Sealing

After opening Champagne, promptly reseal the bottle with an airtight cork, plastic wrap, or a specialized hinged Champagne stopper. Store the resealed bottle in the refrigerator to maintain its bubbles and prevent it from going flat. This method can preserve Champagne for up to five days.

Plastic Wrap and Rubber Band

To maintain the Champagne’s fizz overnight in the refrigerator, tightly wrap the bottleneck with good-quality plastic wrap. While this approach is not foolproof, it can help prevent unintended food or contaminants from entering the bottle.

Invest in Hermetic Corks

Hermetic corks, designed for airtight sealing, are available at most food stores. Investing in these corks can prevent gas buildup within the bottle, a risk when reusing the original cork. Hermetic corks also help ensure the cork remains securely in place, especially in a refrigerator setting.

Keep it Cold

Champagne’s gas emission diminishes at lower temperatures. However, as carbonation decreases, the Champagne may become slightly sweeter. Store Champagne in the coldest part of your refrigerator to preserve its flavor, enjoying its crisp, refreshing taste straight from the bottle.

Use the Spoon Trick

Champagne enthusiasts swear by the spoon trick to retain carbonation. Simply place a metal spoon inside the Champagne bottle’s neck and store it in the refrigerator. The metal spoon cools the bottle’s neck, creating a plug of cold air above the warmer Champagne. This hinders rapid gas escape, keeping the bubbles inside.


By understanding the factors that influence Champagne’s shelf life and following the recommended storage practices, you can ensure that every sip of this effervescent delight is as delightful as the first. Whether you’re saving a bottle for a special occasion or savoring the last drops of an opened bottle, these tips will help you make the most of your Champagne experience.

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