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Jun 12, 2007 02:58 PM

Champagne-Shelf Life?

Recently acquired a number (6) of bottles of champagne and methode champenoise sparkling as gifts. How long will they last in a wine cellar while maintaining quality; and what is the ideal temperature to store these along with red wines that need to be stored in the same place?

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  1. i cellar all of my bubbly with all of the other bottles (red and white) at my offsite storage as well as wine cabinet. as for life of champagne....i had some 30+ years bottles in my cellar and still drinking great!
    i have heard from some that its ok/better to keep the bottle standing for champagne? i have my bottle on the side but.....

    1. Store as you would other bottles, I've also heard standing up is at least as good as in their side.

      Shelf life is TOTALLY dependant upon the bottling. Whatcha got?

      1 Reply
      1. re: whiner

        Its been sitting there for about 6 years called Vouvray, also has a white sticker on the bottle that says medaille d'argent paris 2003.

      2. whiner is right. Methode champenoise could be a $200 bottle of clicquot or a $10 bottle of St. Michelle. Most sparklers are meant to be drunk young, but there are lots of exceptions.

        55 to 60 is said to be ideal, but the biggest factor is eliminating large swings in temp. My cellar maybe gets up to 64 in the summer

        1. Typically a NV bottle of bubbles are meant to "let er rip and drink it"; But just like with other vintaged bottles it depends on what you have. You might be holding onto a killer vintage and you might need to sit or drink now.

          So....whatcha got?

          9 Replies
          1. re: phattychef

            While I would disagree that a non-vintage wine is best at the time of its release, as with all things, it depends upon the specific wine(s).

            1. re: zin1953

              You have to also wonder how long the NV wine has been sitting on the shelves. Surely the wineries and the distributors have a First In, First Out system with these.

              Btw-I agree with you, NV should be drank at thier release.

              1. re: phattychef

                >>> Btw-I agree with you, NV should be drank at thier release. <<<

                Huh? This is exactly the OPPOSITE of what I said above . . .

                1. re: phattychef

                  Beyond the obvious confusion...

                  I think it completely depends upon the NV in question. Wines like Bollinger Special Cuvee, NV Billecart Rose, Krug Grande Cuvee all deffinitely improve in the bottle. Wines like Dethune Rose and Gimonnet Blanc de Blancs not as much. (By the way, I love Dethune Rose and nobody seems to know about it. For $50 I deffinitely think it give the Gosset, which seems the king of that price range, a run for its money.)

                  1. re: whiner

                    Wines like Bolly or Krug are a no-brainer, I agree, but even wines like Chandon (Napa) Brut improve with *some* bottle age after dégorgement. But I'm not sure about the Gimonnet . . . the Pierre Peters n.v. BdB *does* improve with some age! ;^)

                    (Just for the sake of clarity, I think we are all referring to méthode champenoise/méthode traditionelle wines, rather than cuve close, but I think it's worth mentioning nonetheless in case anyone reading this has any confusion.)


                    1. re: zin1953

                      I guess I have never really paid a lot of attention to it. I have always thought that the goal of NV is to make a consistent wine year after year-hence the thought of not cellaring and drinking anytime. Surely a good question to throw out to some of the vendors. Unfortunately, I can never hold on to a bottle of NV long enough to test it out...Sunday Funday tends to deplete my rations.

                      So how long would the reccomendation be on sitting on a bottle of NV?
                      What are we talking about....a year or so?

                      1. re: phattychef

                        I think one of the major problems with the large producer NV Champagnes is that they are rushed out of the cellar with far too little aging, making them taste green and sharply acidic (tried Moet or Clicquot lately?). I like my NVs from great producers like Pierre Peters or Pierre Moncuit with about five years of additional bottle aging even though their wines are well aged when they are released.

                        1. re: phattychef

                          It depends upon TWO factors: the specific Champagne (or sparkling wine) producer you are referring to, and how you like your wines.

                          Specifics are required to answer the question.

                2. re: phattychef

                  Something called Vouvray. Been sitting there for 6 years.

                3. Uhhh-ooo. I have a 1993 bottle of Dom Perignon in my refrigerator (and have for a long while). Have I ruined it? Should I take it out?

                  1 Reply