Many people end up buying a bottle of champagne at the store, receive a bottle as a gift, or just enjoy collecting them. This leads to prolonged storage that leads a person to wonder if a bottle of bubbly can in fact go bad.
The answer is yes. Champagne can go bad. It is wine after all and wine does indeed go bad. To clarify, we’re of course talking about an unopened bottle of champagne. Opened bottles can go bad quickly. Although champagne can go bad there are a variety of factors that will lead to it going bad or not. The factors that affect it are type, vintage, and storage.
A regular bottle of champagne can last up to four years after the date of purchase if stored in a refrigerator or wine cellar. You can tell if the champagne goes bad two different ways. The first way is by opening it and hearing no fizzing noise when you pour it out. Good champagne has fizzy bubble that are lively and loud. Bad champagne will have less bubbles and will not have the lively effervescent characteristic.
You can also tell by tasting it. Bad champagne has a flat and sour taste to it. It will have the same flat taste as a soda that’s been left out on the counter too long and the taste will be very sour and pungent.
Vintage champagne on the other hand is built to last. It can last up to 30 years or more when stored in a wine cellar that is the right temperature without expose to light. Of course most champagne is non-vintage and is made to be consumed shortly after purchase so you will pay a lot more for vintage champagne. This type of champagne only gets better with age – much like fine wines. Any type of champagne is going to last longer if you store it correctly. That means in a refrigerator or wine cellar standing straight up.
It is important to look at the date on the bottle of your champagne. This is the date that the grapes were harvested and not the date that it was bottled.
So there you have it. Now you know all about champagne and its shelf life. Enjoy!
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