When it comes to celebrating life’s special moments, there are few things that can match the effervescent delight of sparkling wine. Whether yor are looking to store a bottle of Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava, these bubbling elixirs add a festive feel to every event.
In this article, we will uncover the art of storing sparkling wine and explore the various factors that contribute to its longevity. What’s more, we’ll stress the importance of using wine chillers to maintain optimal conditions for your prized bottles.
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How To Store Sparkling Wine
There are a few things to be considered when trying to store unopened sparkling wine properly:
Sparkling Wine Storage in a Wine Cooler
Purchasing a wine cooler is essential if you want to store sparkling wines at their best quality. A wine cooler, specifically designed for storing and chilling wines, provides a regulated environment that protects your sparkling wine from harmful factors such as temperature fluctuations, light exposure, and excessive humidity. Now let’s look at the key considerations you need to keep in mind when storing sparkling wine in a wine cooler.
The Optimal Temperature: Cool, Calm, and Collected
Temperature plays a crucial role in preserving the sparkle and flavors of your sparkling wine. To keep the effervescence intact, you must store your bottles in a cool environment. What you should aim for is a consistent temperature between 40°F and 45°F (4°C and 7°C) that must be kept steady throughout the whole storage period. And for serving purposes, we recommend a temperature between 45 and 50 Fahrenheit (7 and 10 celsius).
Beware! Extreme heat can increase the pressure inside the bottle which can potentially result in leakage or even an explosive surprise when opening. On the other hand, extremely cold conditions might cause the wine to freeze, which will change the flavor and cause the carbonation to disappear. Temperature changes can also trigger undesired chemical processes that can lead to premature aging or, even worse, a flat glass of bubbles.
Darkness: Shielding from the Sun’s Glare
Just like a delicate flower, sparkling wine needs protection from its worst enemy: light. The wine’s flavors and aromas can change due to a condition known as “lightstruck,” which is brought on by ultraviolet rays. This is the reason why Champagne and other sparkling wines are typically preserved in bottles that are dark green or amber in shade.
Your bubbly treasures will have the ideal haven in a cellar, a wine refrigerator, or a cool, shady area of your house. By doing this, you enable the wine to keep its perfect attributes and grant yourself a pleasurable drinking experience.
Horizontal Rest: Let It Lie
Sparkling wines do best when placed horizontally. This position ensures that the liquid remains in contact with the cork, keeping it moist and preventing unwanted air from entering the bottle. A dry cork may shrink and allow oxygen to seep into it, ultimately spoiling the wine and diminishing the sparkle.
By storing your sparkling wine horizontally, you maintain a constant seal, preserving the freshness and effervescence that make it so delightful. So, make sure your bubbly is serenely reclining, patiently waiting for the moment to be enjoyed and cherished.
Humidity: A Balancing Act
Another important factor of sparkling wine preservation that is frequently ignored is humidity. A moderate level of humidity, around 70%, keeps the cork from drying out while maintaining an optimal seal. This prevents unwanted oxygen from seeping in and degrading the wine’s quality. However, high humidity levels can damage the cork or even cause mildew to develop on labels.
By making sure the storage room is neither too dry nor too damp, you will provide your sparkling wines with the ideal surroundings for retaining their captivating bubbles. This environment will also allow them to age naturally. By paying attention to humidity levels, you guarantee that each bottle retains its distinct character and remains a joy to uncork.
Avoid Vibrations: Stillness Is Bliss
When it comes to storing sparkling wine, peace and tranquility should be taken into consideration. Vibrations have the potential to disturb the sediment within the bottle which can deteriorate the wine’s taste and texture.
Avoid placing your bottles near any appliances, engines, or other sources of continuous movement. Until you’re ready to indulge, allow your sparklers to rest undisturbed so that you can preserve their unique characteristics.
Select an area of your home that is calm and vibration-free where your bottles can lie in quiet anticipation. By doing so, you make sure that the bubbles remain lively and the wine’s complexity unfolds beautifully, creating a delightful sensory experience when the time for celebration comes.
We have another post explaining in detail the proper storage of white wines, which you might find interesting. Check it out here.
How Long Does Sparkling Wine Last
The answer to this question lies in the general rule of thumb that the majority of bottles on the market, non-vintage sparkling wines are crafted to be enjoyed within a few years of release.
In comparison to certain still wines that benefit from aging, the charm of sparkling wines lies in their youthful vibrancy and effervescence.
Vintage Champagnes and high-quality sparkling wines, on the other hand, can exhibit greater complexity and develop intriguing flavors with age. Under the proper storage conditions, these excellent bottles can be cellared for a number of years, ranging from 5 to 10 or even longer.
How Long is Opened Sparkling Wine Good For?
Once sparkling wine has been opened, it typically retains its carbonation and quality for about 1 to 3 days if stored properly. The exact duration can vary depending on various factors such as the specific type of sparkling wine, storage conditions, and personal preference for taste.
To maximize the lifespan of opened sparkling wine, it’s important to reseal it tightly with a sparkling wine stopper or a cork, and store it in the refrigerator to slow down oxidation and maintain carbonation.
However, keep in mind that over time, the wine will gradually lose its effervescence and freshness. It’s generally recommended to consume opened sparkling wine within a few days to enjoy it at its best.
Does Sparkling Wine Go Bad
Just like any other wine, sparkling wine can go bad if it is improperly stored or aged longer than recommended. Despite its lively effervescence, this type of wine is still susceptible to deterioration.
The wine’s quality may suffer as a result of factors including heat, light, and oxygen exposure. Sparkling wine can lose its fizz, take on strange flavors, or just become flat and unappealing when it gets bad. Other signs of deterioration include unpleasant odors or a sour taste.
To ensure that your sparkling wine remains in its prime condition, store it correctly and enjoy its flavors within the suggested consumption timeframe. If you have any concerns about the quality of a bottle, trust your senses or seek advice from a knowledgeable wine professional who will surely provide you with the necessary guidance.
And just like that, you’ve reached the end of this useful article! Armed with this newfound knowledge, you are now prepared to become a guardian of the bubbles and preserve their distinct flavors until you find the perfect time to enjoy them completely.
As you embark on your champagne and sparkling wines adventure, keep in mind the importance of providing an optimal environment for your sparkling wine bottles. Keep them in a calm, quiet setting, away from direct sunshine, and at a cool temperature. By doing so, you ensure that every glass you pour contains the magic of effervescence sparkling wine contains.
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