How to Store Champagne & Sparkling Wines for Bottomless Bubbly

Champagne is expensive. Don't screw it up.

December 29, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten

It’s no secret that we love Champagne. We’ve talked about the best way to go about opening a bottle of Champagne safely and how to keep the bubbles fizzy for days once you have opened it. We've even shared more than a dozen of our favorite Champagne cocktail recipes. But the most important question of all is: How the heck do you store Champagne?

Listen, I know Champagne is expensive (even though it doesn’t always have to be), and you may be holding on to a special bottle of Veuve Clicquot or a celebratory vintage for a momentous occasion. When storing Champagne, you want to first and foremost prevent the bottle from breaking haphazardly while also keeping the cork moist and protecting the good stuff on the inside.

Wine lovers tend to display their bottles horizontally on a wine rack, but that’s not necessarily the best technique for short-term storage of Champagne and sparkling wines. Experts say that Champagne and sparkling wines should be stored vertically for up to one month; however, if you’re holding on to a prized vintage cuvée, it’s best stored on its side for long-term storage. This will keep the cork moist, which will not only make it easier to open when the time comes, but also discourages oxygenation.

No matter what type of Champagne you’re storing or the size of the bottle, all bubbly should be stored at a temperature of 50℉ to 55℉.

Oh…and did I mention that Champagne should be kept away from light? This is the best technique for all spirits, truthfully, but it’s especially important with Champagne. G.H. Mumm recommends that consumers wrap a bottle of Champagne (or more) in dark tissue paper and then store it in a cool, dark place on its side.

And if you’re just realizing now that New Year’s Eve is days away and you want to stock up on Champagne, go for magnums. The narrower and longer the neck, the less likely a bottle of Champagne will oxidize over time, even if it’s stored properly.

How to Store An Open Bottle

If you’ve only poured a few glasses of Champagne and want to save the contents for another day or two from now, a Champagne stopper will be your best friend. They’re very similar to a regular wine stopper, but they have a tighter seal, which locks in the carbon dioxide (aka the good type of gas that makes Champagne and sparkling wine effervescent. “It’s important to keep the bottle upright, and in a part of your fridge that won’t experience a lot of movement, like the door for example,” says Elise Cordell, national ambassador for Perrier-Jouët Champagne.

Do you have a bottle of Champagne that you’re holding on to for a special occasion? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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Former Food52 Staff Editor