What’s the best way to store and serve sparkling wine?

28th November 2013

champagne storage ways

We all know that the best way to store Champagne is deep down in that cool, dark and damp cellar, though for most of us we will not have access to such a storage solution for our wines so what is the next best thing we can do?

If we look at things as per a normal household without a cellar and for storage of average costing sparkling wines over any costly vintage Champagnes then the following points could provide some assistance:

  • Temperature: If you can store sparkling wines at a temperature between 10°C-13°C then you are given the wine in the bottle the best chance to keep and perform best when served.
  • Consistency: Temperature consistency is also important so try and avoid moving wines in to warmer / cooler places.
  • Light: Light can effect wines when stored so it is recommended that wines are stored in a dark place and certainly not exposed to any strong lights such as sun light or unnatural such as fluorescent.
  • Movement: Wines like to hibernate away and not be disturbed so do have this in mind when you store your wine. This will also include nearby vibrations such as those from dish washers, washing machines.
  • Position: For longer term storage it is advised that you lay your sparkling wine bottles down though standing up is fine if you are only looking for short term length as this way you will avoid drying out the cork and allowing air to enter the bottle.
  • Time: Some sparkling wines will store better than others such as Prosecco’s will be best drunk within two years whereas vintage Champagne can take storing for longer. There will always be a peak moment for a wine, though some vintages can improve the older they are and of course increase in value too.

The best place to store wines is within a temperature controlled wine cooler or in dark and cool places such as under the stairs (especially if the wall is an external one).

What about the best ways to serve sparkling wines?

A good guide is to adhere to serving sparkling wines at 8-10°C (47-50°F) and avoid going too cold or serving with ice as you will lose both aromas and flavours. Some Champagne, especially vintage, will even improve once left in the glass for a few moments, depending on where you are drinking it, when it starts to warm up to room temperatures.

Some Champagnes will even be advised to enjoy via decanting first.

Glasses will also have some say in how a sparkling wine is enjoyed. For some people it is any glass that is at hand, though it is said that flutes / white wine / tulip style glasses allows the wine to perform better. It is also advised to only fill your glass to one third by holding your glass  at a 45° angle and pouring down the side of the glass.

 

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