How to store sparkling wine depends on many factors. Cork closed bottles, as sparkling wines often are, need to be stored on their side to keep the cork moist and prevent it from shrinking. You also need to take into account light levels, humidity and temperature. And, of course, there are different rules for how to store sparkling wine after opening.
This guide from award-winning sparkling wine producers with 50 years of experience gives you expert tips on how to store your bottles the right way.
The Best Ways to Store Sparkling Wine at Home
You don’t necessarily need specialist equipment to store your sparkling wine properly, just follow these essential tips.
How to Store Unopened Sparkling Wine
1. Bottle Orientation: Should Sparkling Wine be Stored on its Side?
A bottle of sparkling wine is best stored on its side, at a slight angle if possible. This is to keep the cork moist; if a cork dries, it shrinks and lets oxygen in and carbon dioxide out, ruining the fizz. Sparkling wine should be stored on its side to keep the ullage near the top of the wine. Ullage is created when a wine is bottled, and helps to mature the flavours of the wine slowly.
For long-term storage, sparkling wine bottles need to be kept as still as possible. Vibrations can actually alter acid and alcohol concentration levels which contribute to added sourness and other sensory changes. For this reason, standard refrigerators are not a good place to store sparkling wines for long periods of time.
3. Light Levels
Store sparkling wine away from sunlight as the UV rays can interact negatively with amino acids in the wine. If this happens, you’ll often find sulphur-based compounds suffusing the wine, with unpleasant cabbage-like notes as a result. Somewhere cool and dark is best for sparkling wine storage.
Long-term storage of sparkling wine requires humidity levels in the range of 50-85%, ideal for keeping the cork moist. However, too much moisture can cause mould to grow on the cork, so keep it within this window.
Knowing what temperature sparkling wine should be stored at is the most important part of its longevity. Standard fridges are too cold for unopened bottles of sparkling wine. A cool, dark cupboard or a dedicated wine cellar offer the best way to store sparkling wine. The best temperature for sparkling wine storage is between 10 and 13 °C (50-55 °F), which is the temperature of dedicated wine fridges.
How Do You Store Screw-Top Sparkling Wines?
Sparkling wines with screw tops are not affected by humidity and bottle orientation in the same way as corked wines. Screw tops can be stored upright and with little consideration to humidity, though you should pay attention to temperature levels in the same way.
How Long Can You Store Sparkling Wine For?
This depends on the quality of your wine, as sparkling wines made in the traditional method will last longer. Generally, an unopened bottle of sparkling wine can be stored for around 3-5 years after its manufacture.
How to Store Sparkling Wine After Opening
Opened sparkling wine is only good for short-term storage. If you have a bottle of sparkling wine that you’ve opened and are unable to finish it, here’s how to store it:
- Invest in a quality champagne stopper to help prevent carbonation loss
- You can store opened sparkling wine in the fridge and ideally consume on the same day, but definitely within 2 days
- If you’re serving champagne and sparkling wine at an event, keep it cold in between servings in an ice bucket
Does Unopened Sparkling Wine Expire?
Like all consumables, sparkling wine does eventually go off, even if unopened. It takes a long time to degrade because of the sparkling wine production process. Alcohol content and the fermentation of the grapes means bacteria have less to feed on, so fewer survive and it takes longer for the wine to actually break down.
If you’re wondering how to tell if sparkling wine has expired, here are some top tips:
- Check the colour: If there’s been an obvious colour change in your wine, this indicates chemical changes have happened andmay no longer suitable for consumption
- Check the smell: A suspicious odour, or a medicinal or vinegary smell, is a sign that your wine has expired
- Check the taste: You need only take a small sip (and not swallow) to taste your wine – sharp, vinegary tastes or caramelised flavours mean it’s past its best
Replenish Your Sparkling Wine Store With Award-Winning Bottles
Sparkling wine is the ultimate treat, whether you’re celebrating an occasion or just fancy a taste of fizz. Restock your store of sparkling wine with some award-winning bottles from Bolney Wine Estate. We have been making English red, white, and rosé sparkling wines for 50 years with grapes grown in our sweeping Sussex vineyards.
Choose from single bottles, mixed cases, or even spectacular party hampers for those special celebrations. You can browse our range or subscribe and save with our monthly wine subscription, ensuring you always have a beautiful bottle of bubbly to hand.