Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
How long will an unopened bottle of Champagne stay good?
—Barbara, Mt. Vernon, Va.
Champagne and other bubbly wines won’t go "bad," per se, but they do age, just like other wines, which means their flavor profiles will evolve and, in the case of sparkling wines, they’ll eventually lose some or all of their effervescence.
The acidity and carbon dioxide will actually preserve a bubbly’s fresh fruit flavors for a while. Well-aged sparkling wines (in cool, dark cellars) will turn a darker color, and evolve into more dried fruit, nut and honey notes. You’ll probably notice a change at about the 10-year mark, at which point I’d expect there would be fewer bubbles too. Excellent vintage-dated sparklers will age even longer.