Top Tips for Storing Champagne at Home

13th June 2018


While most Champagnes and sparkling wines are meant to be enjoyed straightway, there are many cases in which storing bottles is wise, and the way in which you do so can affect aroma and flavour, which is why correct storage practices are important. We outline the key points to consider when storing Champagne and sparkling wines in the home.

Should Champagne bottles be kept lying down?

The debate over whether Champagne and sparkling wine should be kept standing up or lying down is a topic of much contention, with some experts claiming that bottles should be kept upright. We agree that in the short-term this is practical and provided the beverage is consumed within a month at most, it will not harm the flavour, as long as other wine storage best practices are adhered to.

That being said, for long-term Champagne storage, particularly in the case of prestigious vintage cuvées, lying the bottles horizontally on their sides and in a wine rack or cellar is essential because if you do not, the cork can easily dry out, oxidise and spoil the wine.

What are the ideal storage conditions?

Most importantly, like with all wines, storage conditions should be away from light, cool and temperature and humidity-controlled (70-85% humidity). You can install a remote temperature sensor to monitor the conditions and be alerted to any changes in the temperature and humidity. To find a suitable sensor for your home, read this WiFi temperature sensor comparison.

Champagnes and sparkling wines are particularly sensitive to light which is why they are normally found in dark shaded bottles. As such, protecting them from light exposure is absolutely imperative, so it’s best to keep them in a dark storage space. Choosing an area of your house which is not susceptible to vibrations/noise is also very important, which is why many people like to keep their bottles in the basement.

A common misconception is that it is okay to store bottles in the kitchen, with some amateur collectors assuming that since we serve Champagne chilled (ideally 8 degrees Celsius), keeping it in a fridge is a good idea. This is fine for bottles which are to be consumed within a few days, but any longer and the flavour could be affected. This is because the fridge is a dry area which can cause the cork to dry out and the Champagne to oxidise. Moreover, fridges are exposed to light and are regularly opened and closed, which will only serve to disturb the bubbles and can, therefore, spoil your Champagne.

As such, investing in high quality wine storage is a smart move which any serious collector will wholeheartedly recommend. Nevertheless, regular sized wine racks (3.5 inches for standard 750ml Bordeaux bottles) will not fit larger sized bottles, like Champagnes or magnums, so it is best to seek out a specialist provider of custom-made wine racks or bespoke wine cellars. These people are knowledgeable on wine bottle specifications and can, therefore, create ideal storage options that are able to accommodate a diverse bottle collection of different shapes and sizes.

How long should I keep my champagne?

Unlike wine, most Champagnes and sparkling wines are designed to be consumed upon release and enjoyed right away, since they are matured perfectly in the producer’s cellars. However, this does not mean a good bottle cannot be kept for a few years if stored in the correct conditions – in many cases, this will actually enhance its flavour. Magnums are suitable for long-term ageing since there is a larger surface area for the wine, which allows it to mature more slowly and evenly.

A Champagne’s ideal ageing period is surely a matter of preference depending on whether you are a person who likes crisp or more mature tastes. But, generally speaking, the higher the quality of the Champagne, the longer you should be able to store it at home.

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