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Jan 3, 2007 04:33 PM

Champagne in the fridge

Saturday, I stashed what I hope is a nice bottle of Champagne (Gaston Chiquet Tradition) in the fridge in preparation for New Year's Eve. My husband and I both wound up with a horrid stomach virus, so the wine is still in the fridge.

I think this is colder than ideal for storage, but how long can I reasonably leave it in there before it declines? My apologies if this is a clueless question.


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  1. Months, provided the fridge is relatively vibration free (don't store the bottle in the door!) and the wine is not exposed to off odours.

    1. Yes, it should last a good long while. Keep it on its side, rather than standing.

      1. I was always told by wine experts that you shouldn't store sparkling wines in the fridge for more than around a month. For some reason the taste may go "flat" after awhile.

        As for on its side vs, standing. I was also told that sparkling wines can be stored standing without the cork problems you get with still wines.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JMF

          All wines with real corks must be stored on their sides.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            >>All wines with real corks must be stored on their sides.<<

            For long-term storage, you're right. No harm will come from storing a cork-sealed bottle upright for a stretch of weeks and even months, however, provided the cork is in good shape.

        2. It will be fine for many months. Wine will not age in your fridge the same...slower.

          1. Years ago, I foolishly stored a couple bottles of fine, aged riesling in the fridge (on their side) for more than a couple of months. The wine was next to ruined. The bouquet and flavor were completely flattened

            I think the vibrations can can have ill effects on wine in the long term.

            I find a few weeks is generally okay... anything more than that, beware.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Yaqo Homo

              Interesting. Did you have any of the same wine/vintage stored differentlly that was fine?

              1. re: rednyellow

                Absolutely. I bought five bottles of some amazing Dr. Burklin-Wolff 1990 or 91 riesling. I absent-mindeedly left 2 of the bottles in the fridge. The other bottles were perfectly fine.

                1. re: Yaqo Homo

                  My wine storage is off-site. Since I don't have even a small wine fridge in my apartment, I keep all my ready-to-hand wines in my regular fridge for months at a time, especially during the hot summer months. I've never noticed any degradation in the wines so stored, even when opened alongside bottles of the same wine taken directly from my cellar.

                  Also, acquaintances who have adapted second-hand fridges for use as a wine fridge have reported no problems with ruined bottles.

                  You shouldn't discount the possibilty that your two bottles may have been bad to start with.

                  1. re: carswell

                    I'm no mathematician, but that sounds like a highly improbable coincidence, given the elegant, effusive nature and lingering finish of the 3 stored at cool room temperature and the dull stagnation of the 2 refrigerated bottles.

                    A more likely scenario is that fridge vibrates more than yours OR that I am imaginging the whole thing.

                    Note that there were no "off" or spoiled notes in the refrigerated wine--it had just lost a lot of the excitement and complexity I was expecting in what I knew to be a fine, aged riesling.

                    1. re: Yaqo Homo

                      >>A more likely scenario is that fridge vibrates more than yours<<

                      Maybe but unlikely. I think mine is the fridge that was installed when the apartment was built (1961). It's not even a frost-free model. And the second-hand fridges friends have converted into wine fridges are even older and clunkier than mine.

                      As for coincidences, they happen.

                  2. re: Yaqo Homo

                    Thanks, Thats good to know. I'm a big fan of "scientific process"... Eliminate the voo doo if you will.

                2. re: Yaqo Homo

                  Vern Singleton (UC Davis professor and coauthor of a standard enology textbook) had a refrigerator in his garage and successfully aged various wines in it for years. As I recall he said it just slowed things down.

                  Presumably he made sure the fridge's compressor didn't shake the wines. Vibration's definitely not good for proper aging.