Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
What is the best way to store fine Champagne?
—Diana K., Folsom, Calif.
Fine or not, bubbly should be stored the same way all wine should be stored: away from light, heat, vibration and temperature fluctuation. If you have a cooling unit, keep it at 55 degrees F, with 70 percent humidity. If not, find a relatively secure spot, maybe in the corner of a closet. You’ll need to chill the bubbly down before serving, and the fastest way to do that is in an ice bath.
There are a couple of caveats about sparkling wine storage. Typically, I always recommend storing wine bottles on their sides to keep the corks damp. This step isn’t necessary for sparkling wines—it stays pretty humid inside the bottle with all the carbonation in there.
Secondly, Champagne and other bubblies are extremely sensitive to light, which is why they’re typically in such dark bottles, to protect the wine from UV rays. Keep that in mind when picking a storage spot.
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