There is something undeniably exciting about bringing home a bubbly bottle of Champagne. Made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France, this sparkling wine has come to exude luxury and panache for its imitable character. And whether your most recent sparkling purchase is intended for long-term aging, celebratory popping or everyday drinking, here’s everything you need to know about how to store Champagne and keep your bubbles alive.
How to Store Champagne Short-Term
Storing Champagne and sparkling wines isn’t much different than storing other types of wine. “Champagne is just wine with bubbles,” shares Walker Strangis, owner of his namesake retail company and storage center. “It should be treated the same way as any other category of wine.” Use these tips to store your Champagne short-term.
Maintain the Right Temperature and Humidity
In a nutshell, Champagne is best stored in a dark, cool area where the temperature and humidity are relatively constant—ideally around 53-57℉. For folks who can afford it, investing in a wine cellar or dedicated wine refrigerator can take the guesswork out of storing Champagne properly in a controlled environment.
Store on Their Side
Champagne bottles are typically sealed with a cork, so they should be stored on their side to keep the cork moist and prevent oxygen from seeping in. Though, for short-term storage, standing the bottle upright on a counter or in a pantry will do the trick.
Keep Away From Light
“The biggest concern when it’s specifically Champagne is keeping it away from light—both UV light and sunlight—as well as vibrations,” says Strangis. This is not to upset the delicate chemistry and aromas that make sparkling wines, like Champagne, more sensitive to the five enemies of wine versus still wines.
How to Store Champagne Long-Term
Like still wine, some Champagnes improve with age and warrant long-term storage to get the most out of your bottle. “The wine is only going to get better,” says Dana Beninati, sommelier and chef behind Dine With Dana. “Its flavors will develop, soften and round out more, thus making the wine more delicious. So as long as you’re storing it properly, Champagne can last for years.”
This is especially true for vintage Champagnes, which are made from grapes grown in a single standout year. “Vintage champagnes have a longer runway because their quality is dramatically higher than nonvintage,” Beninati continues.
On the other hand, nonvintage Champagnes are made from a blend of grapes harvested over multiple years. There are also multi-vintage Champagnes, which are made from a blend of wines (versus grapes) from the harvests of different brands.