Wine Writing Team on November 23, 2020 0 Comments Champagne is the go-to beverage for any kind of accomplishment worth celebrating, big or small. From weddings and anniversaries to promotions and parties, if you want to be prepared for any celebration, then always having a bottle of champagne on hand is a must. However, the last thing you need is for your celebration to be ruined by a bad-tasting glass of bubbly. The following tips will help you make sure you’re storing your champagne correctly, whether you’ll be enjoying it in five days or five years. How long can an unopened bottle be stored? The key to correctly storing champagne at home depends on one main factor: will you be storing your champagne long term or short term? If you’re going to be storing an unopened bottle of champagne for a month or less: Store the bottle upright Store it away from bright or artificial light Store it at a temperature that’s above freezing but below room temperature If you’re going to be storing an unopened bottle of champagne for longer than a month: Lay your bottles horizontally on a rack or shelf Store them at a temperature between 50-and 59-degrees Fahrenheit Keep the bottles away from sunlight Where is the best place to store champagne? The best place to store both opened and unopened champagne is in a dark place, away from direct sunlight. This is because the sunlight alters the champagne’s internal temperature which can actually change the chemical makeup of the champagne and affect its tasting quality. Place your champagne bottles in a completely enclosed storage area with no light exposure. Most of us don’t have a wine cellar, so if you don’t have access to an area like this, a dark closet or cupboard will work. Another alternative is to cover the bottles with a thin, dark-colored fabric. A simple shelving unit or storage rack will be all you need to store your champagne. Your storage solution doesn’t have to be pretty or elegant, it simply needs to be able to hold the weight of your bottles. Avoid storing champagne in the refrigerator, both short-term and long-term, (unless you are chilling it to serve) because the light from the refrigerator, combined with the refrigerator motor and temperature fluctuations from constantly opening and closing the door, will ruin the champagne. Should champagne be stored on its side or upright? If you’re going to be storing champagne for a short amount of time (under a month) then it can be stored upright. If you’re going to be storing champagne longer than a month, it should be stored on its side in a wine rack or stacked the same way in a cellar, otherwise, you run the risk of the cork drying out and having a difficult time opening the bottle. At what temperature should champagne be stored? Temperature is key when storing your champagne because it affects the taste and texture. If you’re storing champagne short term, then it should be stored above freezing but just under room temperature. Champagne that is being stored long term should be at a consistent temperature between 50 and 59-degrees Fahrenheit at 70-85% humidity. How long can an opened bottle be stored? Before opening a bottle of champagne, cool it gradually in the refrigerator for approximately 4 hours. If you need to chill your champagne faster than that, then chilling it quickly in a bucket of ice is the way to go, taking between 10 and 25 minutes. Never chill a champagne bottle in the freezer, or else you risk ruining its flavor. An opened bottle of champagne can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days if it’s covered with a champagne sealer or hinged bubble stopper to help retain the texture. An unopened bottle of champagne should not be stored in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be chilled. Instead, a non-vintage bottle can be stored using the storage recommendations above for 3 to 4 years, while a vintage bottle can be stored for 5 to 10 years. Remember, the key to serving the perfect glass of champagne for any type of celebration is the conditions and temperature. You can achieve the ideal conditions for both by investing in a wine refrigerator for your short-term storage and following the tips above for long-term storage. Cheers!