Where to Store Wine / Champagne at Home
31st January 2023
For many of us, when we bring wine into our homes it is very likely that it will be consumed relatively quick in that we will open that cork in a matter of days and no more than weeks from purchase. Other times we might purchase wines for a future event or for our very own wine collection at home so understanding where and how to store them for longer durations becomes important seeing that wines do go bad from poor storage practices.
How to store Champagne at home. Not all of us will have our very own wine cellars and we sometimes find that there is no room in the fridge for the odd bottle or two. Yes, some kitchens are lucky enough to have a small wine fridge and these are great for short to mid term storage, depending on the manufacturer / design, but usually we are likely to have to store our wines somewhere else in the house.
The best guidelines for storing Champagne at home is what to avoid and below are the key factors we must observe and respect:
Store horizontally not upright: Champagne, especially for mid term to longer term storage, prefers to be laid down over standing upright (which is fine for short term storage). This will prevent the cork from drying out and allowing oxidisation and for wine to escape (ullage).
Store away from light: Probably the most important tip as either natural or artificial light will damage the wine causing ‘light strike’. This will give the Champagne a wet cardboard and unpleasant mushroom flavour. It can also speed up aging. It particularly effects bottles with clear glass / lighter green glass.
Consistent temperature: Try and avoid storing Champagne in a location that sees drastically changing temperatures as this will speed up the aging process.
Cool temperature: Dark and cool is the preferred location for Champagne so if you can, think about a temperature of around 9°C – 12°C.
Humidity: Try to avoid locations that have no humidity as this can effect the cork by way of drying. Too much humidity can also be bad in causing mold. The minimum humidity level for storing champagne is 50%, and the ideal level is 75%.
No vibrations: Try to place your Champagne in a place that they remain still and unlikely to be interrupted by lights on/off all the time or being moved around such as getting to items underneath them from time to time. The perfect setting is somewhere dark, cool, humid and rarely visited.
Further tips to note is to make sure you drink the bottle by the time specified by the winery / wine maker. Most times the bottle will list the best times to consume by or a little bit of research online can enlighten you. If you are looking to keep your wine for longer periods then think about magnum sizes (twice standard bottle) which ages the wine better.
When choosing a location in your home to store your Champagne think about the least visited room, the darkest and if you can, one without the heating on! External walls are always a great place to store wines next to as they will have a slightly lower temperature than internal walls. Under the stairs is a popular place so long that it is not in frequent use as is the garage depending on construction.
We might think that outside is a great idea for storing wines such as the garden shed, though remember that the perfect temperature will only be reached seldom and it is more likely to be much colder or warmer and importantly a non consistency which will have a negative effect on the wine.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.