Champagne is one of the most recognized beverages because of its bubbly appearance. For newbies to this sparkling drink, here are some answers to common questions on how to store Champagne and enjoy it at optimum quality.

What is the proper way to store Champagne?

Unlike still wine, Champagne can be stored on its side or upright since the pressure inside the bottle will keep the cork moist and the seal intact in either case.

It is important to keep Champagne away from heat, light and vibrations and as little disruption to these factors as possible is key to maintaining Champagne at a good quality.

Recommended temperature for storing Champagne is 10°C-13°C. Keeping Champagne in the door of the fridge is a no-no, as the constant opening and shutting of the fridge door will disturb the bubbles. Kitchens in general are not an ideal place to store Champagnes, due to the ever-changing temperature when cooking.

How long can Champagne be kept?

Don’t store Champagne forever. Champagnes are already aged properly before being sold and therefore do not necessarily benefit from additional ageing. As a rule, non-vintage Champagnes can be kept unopened for three to four years, and vintage cuvées for five to ten years. Champagnes will change as they age – most will become a deeper, golden colour and loose some of their effervescence. The taste and aromas of the wine will also change as the flavours mature over time.

How to tell if Champagne is bad without opening it?

Overdue Champagne is flat, and opened Champagne is notorious for losing its fizz and bubbles fast. Exposure to heat, air, and sunlight instigate oxidation of Champagnes. If the Champagne has changed colour and turned deep yellow or gold, chances are it’s already bad.

Spoiled Champagne will taste and smell sour.

What happens if you drink bad Champagne? Don’t worry, you won’t get sick. In fact, some people enjoy drinking flat Champagne! You can even make vinegar from your leftover flat Champagne.

How to open a bottle of Champagne the right way?

There is around five to six atmospheric pressure within a bottle of Champagne, which has the capability to pop a cork out at 50 mph. When opening a bottle, remove the foil and then release the metal cage. Hold the bottle away from you at a 45° angle, place the cork in the palm of your hand and whilst holding the base, twist the bottle slowly. If the cork refuses to budge run warm water on the neck of the bottle for a few seconds.

It is better etiquette to open a bottle of Champagne with a hiss, rather than a loud pop (unless you’re a bridegroom or formula one driver!). In refined dining circumstances, guests should not be disturbed by the ‘popping’ sound of a Champagne bottle. To avoid the pop, you have to open the bottle very slowly and with a great deal of control.

This said, many people live for the pop, fizz, clink and it can be considered an important part of the Champagne drinking experience. In times of celebration, a pop to get the party started is warmly welcomed by guests, adding a certain charm and sense of festivity to the occasion.

Can I drink champagne that was left out overnight?

Leftover, uncorked champagne left on the counter unrefrigerated overnight begins to breathe bacteria and lose some of its bubble and buzz. However, you can still drink the bubbly. Its flavour and fizz begin to fade after just a few hours, but it can still be consumed for three to five days after that.

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