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.
The difference between multi-vintage and nonvintage Champagne is a bit nuanced, but long-term storage doesn’t only apply to the most exceptional harvests. “Don’t be afraid of aging nonvintage versus vintage,” says Strangis. “The producer worked very hard at what they put in the bottle and that applies to a $20 bottle as much as a $2,000 bottle. The price point of nonvintage [Champagne] from a great producer may be less, but the quality is still there.”
According to Strangis, storing non-vintage Champagnes for a couple of years is well worth the wait. “There’s something rare that approximates a well-aged vintage champagne and you get a lot more bang for your buck.”
Regardless of whether your bottle is vintage, nonvintage or multi-vintage, the same rules apply for storing Champagne long-term: lay the bottle on its side in a cool, dark environment with constant humidity and temperature—ideally around 55℉.
How to Store Open Champagne
Even if you popped open a cellar splurge or one of the best Champagnes for New Year’s (hopefully without spilling a drop), there might be some wine left over. And what is one of the most common concerns with storing opened Champagne? Losing the bubbles.
“There’s this great misconception that if you leave [the bottle] open for a couple of hours, you will come back to a flat Champagne, and that’s not true,” says Strangis. “You usually get 24 hours out of a bottle of champagne before it really fades.”
An open bottle of Champagne can stay fizzy for a few days longer after uncorking if placed in the fridge, but how long the bubbles stay alive can be unpredictable.
To prevent open bottles from going flat, Strangis suggests a preservation recorker or bottle stopper. “You want something that will retain as much of the carbon dioxide as possible,” he says.
“Put a small metal spoon in the back of the [open] bottle and put it in the fridge standing upright,” she shares. “It might have some slight effervescence left the next day, but very little.” Any spoon will suffice so long as it’s made of metal.
Sounds too good to be true? This storage hack has been a long-standing debate in wine and science circles alike—even TikTok has entered the scene. In 1994 Stanford University proved the trick successful through a series of controlled experiments, but MythBusters debunked the theory in their 2009 Christmas Special. So, it’s not always foolproof.
Needless to say, opened Champagne doesn’t last forever—but don’t toss your bottles just yet. Here’s everything you can do with flat Champagne, plus a lemony frozen margarita recipe that can use leftover Champagne as its slushy base.
Last Updated: May 31, 2023