How to best preserve opened Champagne

Drinking Champagne used to be associated only with special occasions and celebrations. “Used to”  but not anymore. Good Champagne used to be very expensive, especially when enjoyed outside of France. In the last 20 years or so, many smaller Champagne producers have entered the market. These small, “grower-producer wineries” (Recoltant Manipulant in French or just RM) that are in their vast majority family-owned, used to sell their grapes to the big houses but are now making their own Champagne. It is absolutely delicious and incredibly affordable! So, YES, you can drink Champagne every day. Our Champagne Discovery Boxes are the best example of that and the best way for you to meet the great variety of styles that Champagne has to offer. We have carefully scouted the many Premier Cru villages of Champagne and have found the best family-owned Maison and every three months we send you a box with 6 of their best cuvées to taste.

How long does champagne last once opened?

But what if you open one of those delicious bottles of Champagne and you are not able to finish it?  F

For how long does Champagne last once opened? You will be surprised to know that once you open it, your champagne has a shelf life of about 4-5 days and sometimes even more depending on the way your open bottle is stored. If it is not stored properly it’ll go flat, and its lovely aromas, flavors, and bubbles will disappear. No one likes flat Champagne so how do you keep it from losing those tantalizing bubbles?

There are actually several ways to do it and not all of them require fancy wine gadgets.

1. Use an airtight Champagne stopper

Champagne corks are bigger and wider than still wine corks. They have to be like that in order to sustain the very strong pressure inside the bottle. Their size and shape make it very difficult to “re-cork” a Champagne bottle using its original cork. And if you thought you could use still wine corks laying around in your kitchen think again. Some might fit but the pressure from the CO2 that still remains in Champagne will pop it out after a little while.

A Champagne stopper is a very efficient and cost-effective solution. They are airtight and prevent the gas from escaping the wine. If you know you won’t be finishing the bottle or simply want to keep it as fresh as possible in between refilling your glass, clamp that stopper onto the bottle once you’re done pouring. There are many out there at various price ranges. Choose the one you like and keep those bubbles inside the bottle longe

2. Use plastic wrap and a rubber band

If you don’t have an airtight Champagne Stopper yet, wrap the top of the bottle with a bit of cling wrap and secure it tightly with a rubber band. The wrap will be inflated from the CO2 and look like a small ballon but it will help keep most of the bubbles inside. It is not the most efficient way but it works if you know that you will be drinking the Champagne the next day.

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3. Keep your bubbly extra cold

It may seem like common sense, but it bears repeating: keep your opened bottles of Champagne in the fridge (not the freezer). After you have closed your open bottle with a stopper place it in the fridge. At cold temperatures, CO2 remains dissolved in the wine longer. The colder the champagne, the slower it releases CO2, which helps keep the bubbles right where you want them—in your wine. While some people swear by it, the spoon-in-the-bottle trick does not work. At least it has never worked for me. But when I use a Champagne stopper and put my unfinished bottle in the fridge, my leftover Champagne is always alive and bubbly!

4. Buy good-quality Champagne 

As in everything else, quality really matters here too. High-quality Champagnes tend to keep their bubbles longer compared to many mass-produced out there. Price is important but not always the indicator of quality. There are many high-quality Champagnes out there that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Just look for terms like Premier Cru, Millésimé, and/or Reserve on their labels. Or you can visit our shop and buy your own Champagne Discovery Box that contains the highest quality of Champagnes from boutique, family-owned Champagne Maisons. You will be surprised with their quality to price ratio!

Remy Massin Champagne Bottles

5. Eat your bubbles

If all fails, you can always use the leftover Champagne to make tasty Champagne Cocktails or other recipes that call for Champagne as an ingredient. I have collected quite a few of them here. Champagne Pancakes for breakfast anyone?  This article appears also on Vivamost.com

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