Does Champagne Go Bad?

French Wine Explorers | Tuesday, Feb 9th 2021

FAQ Friday Video: Can Champagne Go Bad?

This is a video from our FAQ Fridays we offer to answer common questions about French wine and travel. Click here to see our Facebook Lives and join in!

Transcript: Does Champagne Go Bad?

Hi guys,  it’s Pascale with French Wine Explorers and we help wine lovers become connoisseurs.

Comment below if you have any questions that I can help you with I’ll be happy to do so. What I thought we would do today is to go over one of my favorite things to talk about, Champagne! In fact I had a really rough week.  I just finished another Facebook live so I’m on my second glass of bubbly. You know sometimes you just need to start a little bit earlier than planned so I’m starting with this beautiful Grand Cru and it is a Blancs de Blancs which is 100 Chardonnay and if you take our class you’ll know what this all means: Blancs de Blancs and grower producer.

It’s good and it’s $57 so it was not going to break the bank;  I figured I’d give it a try.   I serve it with chips and anybody who takes the course knows why. Did you notice that I am not in a champagne glass? I am in a white wine glass and if you take our course you’ll know why. But I thought we’d go over some frequently asked questions. 

But before I did that I wanted to tell you my story about when Pierre and I got married. When we got married Pierre’s grandfather who was French owned  a restaurant for many many years. He was retired he offered us 75 bottles of grower producer champagne! We were only 75 people at the dinner so I thought to myself wow this guy must really love champagne! So that’s where my love of champagne started and it was a grower producer Champagne a very small grower producer one I had never heard of. And I thought to myself wow they don’t have this in the United States why is that? 

As I moved on with the business I realized that a lot of grower producer champagne that those are the ones that are beyond the big labels. They actually don’t even export to the United States. So that’s my story about French Champagne and how I got started to loving French champagne.  It was all about those 75 bottles that my grandfather offered to us. ( bonjour jane from Toulouse!) 

So I thought we could do best strategies to better enjoy Champagne. All right so let’s dive in. 

First question that I get a lot is can I keep the Champagne in the refrigerator? And the answer is you can but not for more than a week. What happens is if you keep it in your regular fridge there are a couple of factors working against you. 

  1. First of all there’s light when you keep opening and closing the door. 
  2. Second of all there’s humidity fridges are known for being very humid and that can affect your cork. I remember I had a Ruinart bottle of Champagne before we got our wine cellar fridge and I am hoping to offer it to my son for his 16th birthday because I bought it for him for his 16th birthday. And when we popped it open the cork had shriveled up probably because it was kept in the fridge too long. So that’s why you don’t want to keep it in the fridge for more than one week.
  3. The last thing is vibration so the problem with vibration  is if you keep your champagne bottle or really any wine  in the regular fridge for too long the vibration of the system will affect the wine because it’s constantly shaking it and that will affect it. 

So, then what do we do to keep it? 

  • You want to keep it somewhere that is cool that is dark and that is not affected by temperature swings. 
  • What I used to do before I was able to have a wine fridge is I would put it in a shoe box in a closet that I never really opened and that really really worked well. 
  • So if you don’t have a wine cellar and you don’t have a wine fridge and you don’t have a wine basement which is how I started then think about putting it in a cool position in a closet and remember also don’t store your champagne up like this because the cork should be in contact with moisture at all times. 
  • So keep that in the back of your mind to lay the champagne bottle down in a shoebox if you have it if you don’t just lay the champagne bottle down and that’s going to help you.

All right next question: can I serve Champagne with dinner?

I get this all the time- absolutely! 

  • There is no reason why we can’t have champagne all the time including with dinner! 
  • So how do you pair a Champagne for dinner? I’ll give you the basics. 
    • You want to have a Champagne that matches what you’re serving so if you’re serving a meat you’re going  to have a Champagne that matches that. 
    • So you want something a little bit heavier with maybe some pinot noir or pinot meunier. If you have a light dish like a fish then you can have a champagne that’s a little bit lighter.  
    • If you want to know more about it then you really should take our class or go on one of our tours because we go over the influence of sugar the types of grapes that are used in Champagne and how to pair those for an aperitif. For a main course, and for dessert. 
  • So just keep in mind the type of grape that’s used should pair well with whatever you’re serving so for an appetizer it may be one type of grape, for a main course it may be another type of grape, for Champagne and for dessert it definitely will be a different type of Champagne. Any questions pop them below .

My  last question is how long can I keep a bottle of Champagne that’s opened ?

I laughed at this one because that’s never been a problem for me! But for example I 

opened this one.  

  • We talked about this one already the Grand Cru and we may or may not finish it but I have one of those special corks for Champagne so I’ll pop it in the fridge I’ll keep it maybe a day or two. 
  • Past that it’s not going to be any good. I would recommend the same a day or two some say up to three to five days. 
  • I just don’t know why you would have a reason to keep champagne in the fridge for more than a couple of days! 
  • So no more than a day or two and then you finish consuming it.  Will have a different profile for sure it will definitely taste different than when you first opened it. 
  • Like when I first opened this champagne  as a blancs de blancs grand cru I was really expecting more brioche notes and I didn’t get any brioche notes at all. 
  • Now they’re coming out so what’s fun about Champagne if you have it for the entire meal it will progress as you progress with the food and it’s very interesting to see how it goes. 
  • Now this I’m having on its own so it’s quite pure and I can really taste the different notes. So that is something that’s really fun about Champagne is you can kind of see the progression as it gets to a different temperature as it’s exposed to air and things like that. 

So with that being said if you wouldn’t mind please put a couple of questions in the comments below and I’ll try and answer them next week.  

One of the questions that I had from Dawn who’s a doll and I thought I would answer. She asked me if I use a travel carry-on for a two-week trip. 

  • And my response was absolutely! I use a carry-on for one week or one month and everything in between. 
  • And there are strategies and work uniforms that you can use  to do this. It’s been a lifesaver and a game changer. 
  • And the reason I did it is when I was 18 my parents gifted me Gucci luggage and as beautiful as it was it got delayed when I moved from the United States to France. And I didn’t have it for about two weeks and I thought to myself this is insane that luggage is so pricey and maybe I won’t ever get it back!
  • So from that moment on I decided no more-only carry-on luggage.  

So the question is do you travel with the carry-on for one week two weeks three weeks a month?  Yes, I do and I only use carry-on luggage and there are strategies that you can use to do that. If you go on our YouTube channel we have an entire video dedicated on how to travel with just a carry-on. And nowadays with travel being a little bit more complicated than it used to be that is definitely something that you should look into it. It is a game changer especially if you have to connect flights. 

I would really encourage you to try and figure out ways to travel with just to carry on Less is more quality over quantity. And that’s it!!

I bid you farewell; have a great weekend and cheers! I’ll talk to you next week- next Friday we’ll be back on so don’t forget to tune in!