How to … store sparkling wine

Bubbles are more sensitive than any other type of wine. There is no excuse to destroy a bottle by wrong storage. No matter if it is cheap or expensive.

So what is the right way to store sparkling wine?

Storage place and temperature

Sparkling wine is extremely sensitive to light to begin with. That is why it is typically in dark bottles. That protects the wine from UV rays. Keep that in mind when picking a storage spot. Store the sparkling wine bottles away from bright light and heat. Long-term storage should only be attempted at 9-11°C in total darkness.

My sparkling wine cooler is at 15°C. There was no problem so far. It works well for keeping the bottles for years at fairly constant temperature. But temperature should not be much higher. Higher temperatures not only increase the rate of maturation, but can also seriously damage the sparkling wine.

Which brings me to the next, more critical point in my experience. Bubbles do not like vibration and temperature fluctuation. Temperature fluctuation and an elephant passing by frequently, can kill a good fizz.

Therefore find a secure spot to store your sparkling wine, e.g. a natural cellar, basement or the corner of a closet. A (sparkling wine) cooler is a good investment for more expensive bottles. Else the best advice is to buy to drink, not to keep.

Upright or horizontal storage?

There is no reason why bottles of sparkling wine should be stored horizontally. There is no harm leaving the bottle upright. The CO2 in the bottle neck keeps the cork moist and swollen even when upright. But upright storage is neither efficient nor practical.

DIY sparkling wine storage

Why store?

Have you ever thought of storing sparkling wine for a longer period of time?

I’m not talking about the bottle in a dark closet that was forgotten. Interesting things can happen to it too.

No, I mean to store a bottle and follow the development of the favourite fizz over a longer period of time. And sooner or later you decide it’s the point you prefer to drink it.

Winegrowers say that sparkling wine comes off the shelf ready to drink. It should be enjoyed in its youth. If stored in a cool, dark spot, it can be aged for up to three years. That’s only half of the truth.

High quality sparkling wines can age gracefully for decades. Aromas build up after disgorgement. The sparkling wine creates rich nuances like oasty and biscuity flavours. It’s getting smooth and creamy. In brief: YUMMY!

Now you know how to store sparkling wine. Next thing to learn is how to … make ice cubes and how to … cool a sparkling wine bottle. You’ll need to chill the bubbly down before serving. The fastest way to do that, is in an ice bath. You could not drink the whole bottle? No problem. How to … store an open bottle of sparkling wine will teach you how to do it.

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