So, Does Champagne Go Bad?
Many of our readers want to know, does champagne go bad? It’s undeniable that most of our celebrations, holidays and other special occasions just don't feel as special without a good bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine. That’s exactly why we often buy a few in advance and put them away for next time, which ultimately leads up to us completely forgetting about that one bottle lying in the cellar. Naturally, nobody’s a fan of wasting a nice bottle of champagne, and so we wonder: Is it still fine after sitting so long?
That’s a good question, but the answer will depend on a few things, such as the way you stored it and the type of Champagne or sparkling wine it is. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a quick list of things to remember. We hope these pointers will help you avoid that moment when you think, does champagne go bad!
Vintage and Non-Vintage Champagne
First up, one of the main factors is if you’ve gotten yourself a bottle of vintage or non-vintage Champagne. The difference is actually fairly simple. When we talk about vintage Champagne, we’re referring to a wine that’s been made chiefly with the grapes from just one year’s harvest. Non-vintage champagne is made with grapes harvested in different years and blended together. Because it's rarer, vintage is the more expensive choice. Vintage Champagne is also a higher quality wine when compared to non-vintage.
It’s important to note that if you want to check what kind of bottle you’ve ended up with, just look at the label as it will always contain a specific year of harvest in the case of vintage Champagne. Non-vintage bottles won’t list a year at all in most cases. It might have all of them listed, which is unlikely, but still a dead giveaway that it’s a non-vintage Champagne.
How does this play into its expiration date? Well, believe it or not, an unopened vintage bottle can last from five to ten years (and possibly longer), while a non-vintage one will go bad and lose its bubbles in roughly three or four years after purchase. So that’s a solid difference of at least five years, but in the case of a previously opened bottle, we’re looking at an even playing field, since both will simply go flat after a matter of a couple of days. This is all assuming that the Champagne has been properly stored, which we’ll talk about in more detail below. If you want to avoid the painful questions, does Champagne go bad, proper storage is vital.
Storing Your Champagne
Like with other wines, if you’re not drinking it right away it’s best off stored in either a pantry or a cellar. A refrigerator also does the job, but it’s not a must. Basically, you’re in the clear as long as the Champagne is in a colder, dry space with little to no drastic changes in temperature. A really useful bit of information to remember, while you might already be doing it without realizing its importance, is to place the bottles on their sides. This keeps the cork wet, which prevents it from creating those pesky holes that get the air into the Champagne and ultimately ruining it much quicker.
If you decided on storing away an opened bottle in the fridge, remember to tightly close it back up with the cork or even a wine stopper if you have one. Even though it’ll last a bit longer this way, it will still only be a few days, so make sure to drink it all as soon as possible!
Consider Buying A Champagne Or Sparkling Wine Stopper
To extend the life of your Champagne or sparkling wine, you should consider purchasing a Champagne stopper. These are designed differently than your typical wine stopper. The design is meant to fit a Champagne bottle properly and it will keep your wine fizzing for a little longer than most other options. We recommend you check out the Champagne Stopper by MiTBA. This is both a stopper and a pump all in one. This is the surest way to protect your precious bottle of sparkling wine!
A Cool Trick To Keep Your Champagne Bubbly
Some people rightly feel that losing bubbles is the equivalent of letting your Champagne go bad. That's a little different than wine oxidizing, but a sparkling wine with no sparkle just isn't that same. You can keep the bubbles a little longer by dangling a metal spoon in the open neck of your bottle. Then place the bottle in your fridge. The metal will keep the neck of the bottle colder than the rest of the bottle. That cold air blocks the gases from leaving your bottle. Hence, more bubbles for you to enjoy the next day!
Does Champagne Get Better With Age?
In most cases, they don’t, or not nearly as much a bottle of red wine usually would. A good vintage Champagne will develop a different, richer flavor profile over time but much like non-vintage, even unopened it still loses a bit of its fizz over the years. There isn’t exactly a total agreement on this one, but some wine lovers definitely appreciate the development of flavor a quality vintage Champagne can bring to the table.
Remember that this is not at all the case with non-vintage wine, as they won’t go through any kind of change in flavor or aroma while losing the bubbles that make Champagne as great as it is. All in all, this is a drink already aged enough before your purchase, ready to be enjoyed right away.
With that said, we’ve come to an end of this brief discussion. Your main takeaway here is that Champagne goes bad very rarely, and if an unopened bottle is properly stored, it can last you many years, ready to go for that celebration you totally forgot about.