What's the best way to store Champagne?

Ask Dr Vinny

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,

What is the best way to store fine Champagne?

—Diana K., Folsom, Calif.

Dear Diana,

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.

—Dr. Vinny

Collecting Storage Sparkling Wines France Champagne Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

How many gallons of wine are in a ton of grapes?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how many barrels, gallons, cases and bottles of …

Apr 12, 2021

Does wine age the same under synthetic and natural corks?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the pros and cons of a variety of wine closures, …

Apr 5, 2021

Does Champagne age well?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains what happens to sparkling wine as it ages.

Mar 29, 2021

Is there a word for sparkling wine that starts with the letter “P”?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny's bubbly crossword puzzle suggestions include pétillant, …

Mar 22, 2021

Is there another name for “red Burgundy”?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the Pinot Noir grape's relationship with …

Mar 15, 2021

Should red wines be stored at a different temperature than white wines?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers tips for how to take advantage of a dual-zone wine …

Mar 8, 2021