Sunday, July 25, 2021

How Long Does Champagne Last? 5 Essential Facts

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How long does champagne last? We often forget to ask such questions regarding all kinds of celebrations, as people’s go-to drink is always a bottle of champagne. Be it to announce good news, raise a toast, or even sit down and have a taste. Weddings, romantic dates, graduations, family dinners: champagne makes for the perfect and most elegant companion for all kinds of occasions.

It is easy for questions like ‘how long does champagne last?’ to be overlooked because everyone is in such a rush to celebrate the moment. Unless there are plans for finishing the bottle very soon after it has been opened, it is best to consider certain things about the drink. Here is a list of things to keep in mind when you are about to grab a bottle of bubbly for a special occasion.

How Long Does Champagne Last? 5 Essential Facts

While reaching for the nearest bottle to pop to celebrate an occasion, one may forget that it is quite important to know exactly when it is best to enjoy champagne. Once bought, how long should one store a bottle of champagne? How long does champagne last once it has been opened? Should it be kept in the fridge or the kitchen to be preserved for long, or must it be put on display?

The common belief that champagne is best to be preserved over long periods of time has its truth. However, it remains relative. It is essential to know how to correctly preserve the flavor and fizz of champagne to know exactly how long it lasts. Keep reading ahead to find the answers to all such questions, along with some tips, side notes, and interesting facts about champagne.

Champagne
Photo by Photos by Lanty

Vintage and Non-Vintage Champagne

To begin to find out how long does champagne last, it is essential to figure out whether it is a bottle of vintage champagne that you own or non-vintage champagne.

The major difference between the two is that vintage champagne is made with grapes that have been harvested within the same year, and non-vintage champagne is made with grapes that have been harvested over several years. Moreover, vintage champagne is bottle-aged at the winery for about 3 years. Non-vintage champagne, on the other hand, must be bottle-aged for 18 months.

It is thought champagne tastes best when preserved over excessively long periods of time. However, it must be noted that champagne can go bad. To be specific about how long does champagne last, an unopened bottle of vintage champagne can last for about 5 to 10 years, and in the same case, a non-vintage bottle has the potential to last for 3 to 4 years. If not stored correctly, unopened champagne may go bad sooner.

An important feature to be noted about vintage champagne, besides its good quality and higher price, is that there will be a date listed on the bottle, which indicates the year in which the grapes used to make that champagne was grown and picked. It is not an indicator of the champagne’s manufacture date, but the harvest and acquiring of the grapes. If there is no date listed, this means that it is a non-vintage champagne bottle that has been picked.

How do You Know When Champagne has Gone bad?

Bad Champagne
Photo by Alexa Soh

For champagne lovers and even those who have tasted champagne a few times, it will be easy to point out certain differences between a good and bad glass of champagne. What happens when champagne goes bad is that it begins, at the very least, to taste flat. This happens in the early stages. As more time goes by, it starts to lose the fizz and bubbles, tastes flat, turns sour, and begins to give off a strange odor.

Even when the perfect measures are taken to enclose the flavor, fizz, and champagne’s specialty, it begins to go bad eventually. This is why it is important to know when to consume champagne, whether just bought, unopened, or opened and stored someplace. Now, what exactly are these measures to be taken to preserve champagne?

How to Correctly Preserve Champagne?

This part is essential in determining exactly how long can champagne last. Opened or not, champagne should always be stored in a cold, dark area that is as far away from sunlight, artificial light, or any heat sources as possible. The projection of heat quickens the champagne’s maturation process, which causes it to go bad much sooner than it would have if kept away from heat.

Specifically, storing champagne at about 18 degrees Celsius, or 65 degrees Fahrenheit, would be the way to go. This falls just below room temperature, so the pantry or a cellar becomes a good enough place to store it. Kitchen cabinets can be a good option for short term storage solutions, as long as it is ensured that they are at a large distance from the gas stove, oven, or microwave.

Additionally, a good tip for the storage of vintage, or any champagne for that matter, would be to lay it down on its side. What this does is keep the cork moist, and in turn, also keep it from the process of drying out. This is especially helpful for bottles that you may plan on keeping for a longer time.

With the aid of little things such as these, the preservation of champagne can be correctly carried out, which allows the drinker to enjoy the champagne as much as possible.

What is the Best Way to Store Opened Champagne?

Opened Champagne
Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

Now, there are specific things to keep in mind when it comes to storing opened champagne. Firstly, as soon as the cork has been popped, the bottle can last for about 3 to 5 days if stored correctly. The correct storage of opened champagne implies things such as putting the cork back on as soon as you can, keeping it in a cold area but not an area as cold as a freezer, to name a few.

The champagne can be stored in the fridge for the next few days to ensure that the fizz and the bubbles remain intact. Along with this, the bottle should be kept upright to avoid any leakage. Avoid keeping the bottle of bubbly in the freezer, as this would ‘kill the fizz’ and take away the champagne’s bubbles. For a quick freeze, it can be kept in the freezer for a few minutes but shouldn’t be left for too long.

So, How Long Does Champagne Last, and Does it Get Better With Age?

Overall, it can be concluded that preserving champagne is the best way to help it last for a longer period of time. Additionally, the kind of champagne also helps to determine how long does champagne last. Vintage champagne can last for many years if preserved correctly. However, the same cannot be said for champagne that is not vintage as it does not age or mature in the same way as vintage champagne.

When it comes to exactly how long does champagne last, it is correctly said that champagne can be stored for longer periods of time, given that it is vintage champagne. The condition also makes a major difference in the bottle. More specifically, whether or not it has been opened.

Now that the question ‘how long does champagne last?’ has been answered let us look at a few interesting facts for wine lovers!

Interesting Facts about Champagne

Interesting Fatcs About Champagne
Photo by Matthieu Joannon

  1. The term ‘champagne‘ is only to be used for the product that has been manufactured in and comes from Champagne, France. All other products are supposed to be called ‘sparkling wine.’ Next time you talk about champagne, make sure you know where it comes from so that you’re able to address it with the correct name.
  2. For a little bit of extra fizz in your glass of champagne, try dropping a raisin into your glass. This will release extra bubbles as the carbon dioxide sticks to the surface of the raisin. Now you know just how to make that glass of bubbly a little more bubbly!
  3. Champagne was invented by a monk named Dom Perignon, who once found it too difficult to get rid of all the bubbles in his wine. Failing to remove the excessive bubbles, he succeeded instead in discovering champagne!
  4. Starting from the process of its production, champagne is pretty high maintenance. It goes through two processes of fermentation: one in the barrel and the second in the bottle.
  5. As mentioned earlier, it is made from harvested grapes. There are traditionally three types of grapes used to make champagne: two reds making Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and one white making Chardonnay.
  6. The trick of uncorking a bottle with a sword is known as Sabrage, and it is surprisingly easy. When champagne is chilled just enough, it can be uncorked with a single slice of a sword, and the temperature of the bottle allows for no glass to fall back into the bottle.

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