Does Champagne go bad? Yes it does, unfortunately.
First of all, don’t worry, it’s not a silly question. It’s actually a key question to ask to avoid wasting your precious bottles of Champagne down the sink.
We have summarized for you all the key things you need to be aware of so that you can minimize this risk.
Keep reading if you want to find out:
How long does Champagne last?
The correct answer is it depends.
There are at least two main factors that determine how long your bottle of Champagne will last: if it’s Vintage or Non-Vintage and if you have properly stored it.
You’ll find the details on how to store your Champagne properly further below. Let’s focus first on the difference between Vintage and Non-Vintage Champagne.
The difference is pretty straightforward. A Vintage Champagne is made with 100% grapes from the same vintage or year’s harvest. A Non-Vintage Champagne is made with grapes from various years.
To find out if your bottle of Champagne is vintage or not, you just have to look for a year on the label. If it has it, it’s a Vintage Champagne.
Vintage Champagne is usually of higher quality and lasts longer than Non-Vintage Champagne. That’s why Vintage Champagne is generally more expensive.
Vintage Champagne typically lasts between 5 to 10 years
Non Vintage Champagne typically lasts between 3 to 4 years.
It’s important to note that certain types of Champagne and vintages are designed to age in the bottle for years and can last longer than 10 years.
Always check with your merchant if unsure.
Does Champagne go bad?
“Does Champagne go bad?” Yes, it does unfortunately.
There are some indicators that will help you assess if your precious bottle of Champagne has deteriorated. Here are some guidelines:
- It smells strange when you open the bottle.
- It tastes sour.
- The color has turned deep yellow or gold.
- It’s has gone flat, i.e. there are no more bubbles
Some people do actually like flat Champagne, so in reality, if that’s the only problem you are facing, you could give it a go and you might even join their club.
Another thing to notice is that a small percentage of bottles will have a defect or be corked. There’s nothing you can do about that.
You can always return them to your merchant and see if you can get your money back.
A good practice is to keep the receipts, especially for those bottles that you are planning to store or keep for the right occasion.
How to store Champagne?
The way you store your bottles of Champagne is key to prolonging their life. The wine in the bottle is a living beverage that keeps evolving over time.
The way it evolves it’s impacted by a series of external factors.
You’ll find some valuable hints for unopened and opened bottles. It goes without saying that open bottles will not last long.
For unopened bottles follow these guidelines:
- Store them in a dark place, away from natural light  at a temperature between 44.6°F – 50°F (7°C – 10°C).
Large fluctuation of temperature could damage the aging process.
- Store in a place that is not exposed to vibration.
- Store your bottles on their side if you are not planning to consume them in a month or so.
In this way so that the cork remains wet preventing the oxygen to enter and deteriorate your wine.
For opened bottles, they can last roughly 3 days if you put the cork back or use a wine stopper and put them back in the fridge.
In this way, the CO2 will be released more slowly and you can retain most of the fizz and the aromas.
By now, if someone asks you “Does Champagne go bad?” you’ll be able to properly address that question!
Knowing your wine and storing it in the proper way, will make a big difference.
Just follow the above guidelines and you’ll maximize the chance of prolonging the life of your precious Champagne bottles.
Feeling thirsty or are you simply after some recommendations for the best Champagnes you can find right now? Check out our buying guide on Champagne.