Sparkling wine was once the hallmark of a celebratory event like a wedding, anniversary, or retirement. These days, Americans drink more sparkling wine than ever. Industry experts predict growth of 3.4% in the sector by 2027.
Maybe it’s a post-pandemic, live for today attitude. Maybe people want to drink what they like on a random Tuesday rather than save a bottle.
No matter the reason, sparkling wine isn’t what you drink to celebrate—drinking it turns any event into a celebration.
To get the most out of it, you must learn how to store sparkling wine. Do you want to keep your bubbly bubbly?
Read on to learn all the tricks bartenders and sommeliers use.
All Champagne is Sparkling Wine
But not all sparkling wine is Champagne. It seems like a minor distinction, but knowing the difference is crucial for proper storage.
Champagne is made only in the Champagne region of France and, like Kentucky Bourbon, must follow a specific process. Champagne goes through a duel fermentation, and the second fermentation must take place in the bottle.
How to Store an Unopened Bottle
When you go to a restaurant, you’ve likely noticed a white wine cooler filled with a variety of white wines, sparkling, and Champagne. Doing so means the bottles are chilled and ready to drink for any customer who orders.
You’d think that putting an unopened bottle of bubbly in your refrigerator is appropriate. It sure is if you’re going to drink it soon. Restaurants move their product rapidly, so they don’t worry about storing sparkling wine in their coolers.
Unfortunately, your fridge isn’t the best place for storing your sparkling wine long-term. Your fridge is cold, but it’s dry. And that dry air will dry the cork, allowing carbonation to escape.
Storing an Unopened Bottle of Champagne
Champagne can age in the bottle. If stored correctly, an aged bottle of Champagne reveals rich flavors of nuts, dried fruit, and smoke. Champagne, like other white wine, gains color as it ages. A 20-year-old bottle may turn a deep gold or reddish-brown.
If you plan to drink a bottle of Champagne within a month, we recommend storing it upright and away from light.
Should you want to cellar a bottle, you need to take more care. Store your bottle on its side, and ideally at a temperature of 55°F. If you don’t have a temperature-controlled environment, your basement will work.
Keep your Champagne away from light. An easy way is to wrap your bottle in tissue paper to prevent light from impacting the wine inside the bottle.
Storing an Unopened Bottle of Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wines like Prosecco don’t age in the bottle. You drink them right away, and they only hold for a few years after bottling. A great bottle of Prosecco or another non-Champagne sparkling wine shouldn’t receive a long-term cellaring, as the flavors change dramatically and the wine loses carbonation.
Like Champagne, you should avoid storing sparkling wine in your fridge for longer than a week. The cork will dry and turn brittle, turning the wine flat. Because you’re not aging this wine, store it upright to prevent cork wetness.
All wines need temperature control for proper storage. Sparkling is no different but should be ok unattended if you plan on opening it soon.
How to Store an Open Bottle
You did it. You popped the cork on a bottle of Champagne or sparkling, but you didn’t finish it.
People often share sparkling wines because they don’t know how to keep the leftovers. Sparkling wine is on the clock to consume once you open the bottle.
That’s ok. There are ways you can prolong the life of an open bottle to enjoy for days.
Sparkling Wine Stopper
A sparkling wine stopper seals the bottle air-tight, and the wine doesn’t oxidize and lose its carbonation.
The best stoppers keep the air inside the bottle pressurized. If you put the stopper on as soon as you finish serving or drinking the bubbly, a bottle stays carbonated for days as long as it’s cold.
Make Sure it Stays Cold
Keeping an open bottle cold helps keep it fresh. The cold temperature slows the release of carbonation (CO2).
While keeping a bottle cold without a stopper isn’t a long-term solution, it will keep bottles fresh all night long.
Use a Spoon
Temperature is the enemy of carbonation. Champagne and sparkling wine release CO2 at a faster pace.
Have you ever opened a warm bottle? The pressurized sparkling wine explodes out of the bottle!
So how does the spoon method work? A metal spoon gets very cold and will keep the bottle cold. All you do is stick the handle of a metal spoon into the bottle and put it in your fridge.
Aluminum foil is another way to control the temperature of your bottle. After you’ve finished, wrap the bottle and cover the opening with foil before placing the bottle in your refrigerator.
The foil stays cold and ensures the bottle stays cold, too.
How to Store Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wine and Champagne is the universal drink for celebration. We love to pop bottles to commemorate and enjoy one of life’s significant milestones. You don’t have to save it if you like it!
Use these helpful tips to store your favorite bottle long-term or keep the party going long after you decide to pull the cork! Cheers!
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