Have leftover champagne and wondering how long you can save it? This guide shares everything you need to know.
“Popping the cork” is a phrase most of us are familiar with when it comes time to toast a wedding, anniversary, retirement or other special occasions.
Champagne is often associated with celebrations and joy making it a wonderful gift as well for everything from engagements to house warming parties.
For that reason you may be wondering if you can save leftover champagne once you have opened the bottle - nobody likes to waste a good thing!
This guide will share everything you need to know about what to do with that open bottle of champagne and how to do it the right way.
Can You Save Leftover Champagne?
Whether you had a party where the guests didn’t finish the entirety of the bottle or you’re enjoying it solo, saving champagne is possible.
When stored correctly, champagne can be saved as long as it is enjoyed within 3-5 days of opening in most cases.
After this point, the quality will most assuredly have deteriorated past the point where you will want to indulge.
What Is the Difference Between Champagne and Wine?
Wine is a term used for any alcoholic beverage made from grapes or other fruits such as plum, cherry, and elderberry worldwide.
Wine is primarily made in Italy, France, Spain, and the United States prepared in a single fermentation process which involves aging in an oak barrel.
Sparkling wine is a general term used to describe all wines that undergo a second fermentation process, as champagne does.
This does not mean that all sparkling wines are champagne; this is only one of the types of sparking wine. The others include sekt, prosecco, cava, and American sparkling wine
True champagne is a specific type of wine made from the finest red and white grape varieties that originate in the Champagne region of France.
Champagne is made by crushing grapes and fermenting the juice in a tank. This base is then mixed with sugar and yeast and undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle.
This fermentation traps carbon dioxide in the bottle and forms the bubbles. This wine is then aged in the cellars.
For the final step, dead yeast cells are removed from the sparkling alcoholic beverage and a mixture of sugar and wine is then added.
This is to compensate for the amount of wine that is lost during the removal of these cells. This process is called Méthode Traditionelle, or Méthode Champenoise.
Is My Champagne Vintage or Non-Vintage?
Vintage champagne is made from grapes from a single year’s harvest whereas non-vintage champagne uses grapes that were harvested over several years.
Non-vintage champagne is bottle-aged for a minimum of 18 months, and vintage champagne will be aged for a whopping three years.
Vintage bottles are considered a higher quality than non-vintage, making them an excellent gift.
To find out which kind of champagne you have, check the bottle - some will spell it out for you, but if not, you can look for a single year listed.
This indicates that the grapes in the champagne were grown and picked during that one year. If there is no date listed, it is more than likely non-vintage.
Vintage champagne tends to have a longer shelf life than non-vintage champagne. Unopened champagne lasts three to four years when non-vintage and five to ten years vintage.
This lies in the fact that vintage was formulated to be bottled for an extended period of time initially.
How Do You Store Unopened Champagne?
You can prolong the lifespan of your unopened bottle of champagne by storing it properly, but not everyone knows how to do.
Here are some tips for the best way to store champagne that will keep your bottle of bubbly flavorful and ready for your upcoming event:
- Store in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or artificial light such as a wine cellar.
- Avoid locations that experience temperature fluctuations.
- Store in a dry place away from appliances that will warm or vibrate the bottle.
- Consume a champagne bottle that has been stored upright within a month.
- Store a bottle you plan to keep for longer than a month on its side to prevent the cork from drying out.
How Do You Store Opened Champagne?
Opened champagne should be kept chilled and sealed as tightly as possible to keep the contents bubbly and to avoid absorbing surrounding flavors.
Once you have opened the bottle, put the cork back in as soon as possible or use a champagne stopper to maintain the quality of the champagne.
If you don’t have the cork and you don't have a stopper, cover the top as tightly as possible with a plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band.
For the best quality, it's a good idea consume your leftovers within 2-3 days to avoid having the champagne go bad.
Whenever possible, the best place to store the bottle is in the fridge. If there’s no room in your fridge, find a cool place. Stand upright to avoid any leakage.
Most experts recommend that you not store champagne in a freezer. This will ruin the fizz under most circumstances, so this is not a preferred method.
If you need to chill it quickly, it can be stored for a few minutes, but don’t forget it!
If you do intend to store your champagne in the freezer, consider pouring into ice cube trays then transferring the frozen cubes into an airtight freezer bag for storage.
How Do I Know if My Champagne Is Still Good?
One quick way to see if you have bad champagne on your hands is by tasting your champagne to determine its freshness and flavor.
If you noticed something like mold or a damaged cork, your old champagne is not worth trying and was not stored properly this time.
Here are clues your open champagne may have gone bad:
- Strange odor that seems “off”
- Sour taste
- Flat flavor
- Brownish tint or other discoloration
- Absence of bubbles or fewer bubbles (flat champagne is not good news)
Is It Safe To Drink an Old Bottle of Champagne?
Spoiled champagne is not dangerous, but will not be enjoyable. The offensive smell or flavor will probably be enough to make you dump it down the drain, but if you do happen to drink it, you should be fine.
Barring any serious issues with the champagne, nothing bad will happen. But, that said, you’re best to just empty the bottle and open the next!
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Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.Tags: FAQ, Champagne, Wine, Entertaining