A glass of champagne says so much more than an average glass of wine. The iconic drink is a symbol of celebration and luxury — but if it isn’t stored properly, it can lose its distinctive carbonation for which it’s known the world over. If you want to avoid an embarrassing caveat, you have look into how to store champagne and sparkling wine. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what to do with so much conflicting information out there. Luckily, KingsBottle has done the research for you, so you can sit back, relax, and take long, savoring sips from your flute.
How you store your champagne has lasting affects on its shelf life and taste. When the famed Jönköping shipwreck champagne cargo was brought up—82 years after it was shipwrecked— they found that the champagne onboard was perfectly preserved for consumption. How could champagne survive somewhere so inhospitable? After some puzzlement, experts realized that conditions under the ocean were ideal to preserve the champagne. So the bubbly remained pristine, untainted by time, germs, or the ocean water. Ever since, we’ve been trying to determine how to mimic similar conditions for proper storage on land.
Before we get into it, let’s start with this important side note: in terms of their physical properties, champagne and sparkling wine are essentially the same. The real difference is that true champagne comes from the Champagne wine region in France, where the grapes have a distinct profile unlike those grown anywhere else in the world. For storage purposes, however, both sparkling wine and champagne can be stored in almost identical conditions.
Vertical vs. Horizontal Storage
There are two methods for how to store champagne: standing your bottles vertically right-side up and placing them on their side, horizontally. The reigning question is this: what method works the best?
Well, actually both ways work well. However, if you plan to store your champagne longer than a month, experts say it’s best to store them horizontally, either in a wine rack, in the cellar, or in a KingsBottle wine cooler so the moisture from the wine keeps the cork from drying out.
The next time you’re putting away your wine, consider the quality of your sparkling wine — and also the time it will take for you to drink. You definitely don’t want to put out that 200 dollar bottle of champagne in the fridge if you’re not going to drink it right away — unless you can afford it of course.
Bottle vs. Magnum
To better age your sparkling wine or champagne, what counts is not only how you store champagne, but also the quantity of volume the bottle can hold. Why? Basically, the more volume a bottle can store equals a better tasting and aging champagne. This means half-bottles are not suited for long-term storage.
However, bottles that have about 750ml of space age well, but only for 10-15 years under ideal conditions. Magnum bottles are the best size for long-term storage because, according to experts, the increased surface area allows the wine to age more slowly which enables the sparkling wine to stay in storage longer. The longer period of storage, which is about 20-30 years, adds more complexity and nuances to the overall flavor of your champagne or sparkling wine.
Location, Location, Location
Did you ever wonder why these elixirs are always in dark tinted bottles? Well, it’s mostly because sparkling wine and champagne have one unfortunate flaw: they are very sensitive to light. This is why finding a good storage space in your home for your sparkling wine or champagne is very important if you plan to store them long-term.
Typically, a wine cellar is the best location for long-term storage for your treasured sparkling wines and champagnes — but if you don’t have the space or the resources to build a cellar in your home, a KingsBottle wine cooler can replicate the ideal conditions of a wine cellar
Have a Plan For Emergencies
If you have an extensive champagne collection, the last thing you want is your prized possessions to go bad. In case of any emergency or natural disaster, you want to know that your champagne bottles are safe.
Make your inventory safer by reinforcing the racks and shelves where you store your champagne. This will prevent your bottles from falling over. If you have a cooling system, investing in a back-up generator is definitely the route to go. This will ensure that your wine and champagne does not get cooked and ruined.
The Right Temperature
According to Moët & Chandon winemaker Marie-Christine Osselin — an expert on how to store champagne — when corks dry out, the seal between the bottle and the cork loosens up, causing the champagne to oxidize faster. This causes the champagne to change chemically, thus changing the taste.
That means that your sparkling wine and champagne can be tainted if the temperature and humidity isn’t just right. Any place where the temperature is volatile is out of the question; a temperature of 45°F - 50°F along with a generous amount of humidity is ideal for storage.
KingsBottle dual zone wine refrigerators are the perfect units for storing champagne and sparkling wine, as the dual zone storage capabilities allow you to keep your collection of sparkling wines at their ideal temperature and the rest of your white wines at a slightly cooler temperature.
Explore our entire collection of wine coolers and beverage refrigerators to satisfy all of your wine storage needs — and you’ll be prepared the next time there’s call for a celebration.