You have a great bottle of sparkling wine and you’ve opened it, only to discover that you can’t drink it all in one sitting. How long will it last and how can you keep it fresh?
Sparkling wine can last anywhere from one to 20 years if left unopened and stored properly. Once opened, you’ll have the best results if you finish the bottle within the same day, but this can be extended to 3-5 days using a champagne stopper and proper refrigeration.
In this article, I’ll dive a little deeper into how long sparkling wine lasts, both when it’s unopened and opened and how to properly store sparkling wine until you’re ready to enjoy it.
Unopened Sparkling Wine Stays Fresh For Years
The longevity of sparkling wine left unopened depends on several factors, including the type of wine and its storage conditions.
On average, assuming it’s stored appropriately, an unopened bottle of sparkling wine is intended to be consumed within three years. However, some varieties, such as Prosecco, do better if you drink it within one year, while others like Brut Reserves are fine aging for up to eight years.
Different sparkling wines are prepared with different grapes and processes, which has an effect on their ideal consumption date. All sparkling wines undergo some amount of aging as part of the winemaking process.
The vast majority of them are intended to be enjoyed young and require no additional aging at home. However, if you’re curious about a specific bottle of sparkling wine, you should refer to the winemaker or the purveyor in which you bought it to further inquire about aging.
Remember that any wine you don’t drink within a short period of purchasing should be stored appropriately, which I’ll give more information on shortly.
Opened Sparkling Wine Should Be Consumed Quickly
While you have some wiggle room when it comes to how soon you open a bottle of sparkling wine after you buy it, once you have an opened bottle, they’re intended to be drunk relatively quickly.
To best experience sparkling wine the way it’s intended to be served, you should try to finish the bottle within the same day that you open it, but with the use of a champagne stopper and refrigerator, you can get a bottle to last up to 3 or 4 days.
After opening a bottle of sparkling wine, your top priority is to maintain the carbonation for as long as possible.
Sparkling wine begins to lose its carbonation from the moment you open it, but there are two main things you can do to prolong this inevitable loss. You can use a champagne stopper and you should keep the wine bottle cold.
Champagne stoppers are designed specifically for sparkling wines to prevent carbonation loss. Who wants to drink sparkling wine without the bubbles?
Consider a stopper such as the Viski Champagne Stopper (available on Amazon.com) for best results. This stopper is reliable, affordable, fits standard-sized sparkling wine bottles, and is offered in both silver and gold finishes.
Additionally, you can use it for opened bottles of beer as well.
In conjunction with your use of a champagne stopper, you should keep your open bottle of sparkling wine cold at all times. Heat quickens the rate of carbon dioxide loss, meaning your sparkling wine will go flat faster if you leave it on the counter versus in the refrigerator.
For best results, you should get in the habit of stopping your bottle and placing it into the refrigerator or an ice bucket in between every pour.
If your bubbly sparkling wine loses all of its carbonation after a few days, you can still drink it, but be prepared for a significant downgrade in flavor. Consider using sparkling wine that has gone flat for cocktails, sangria, or punches rather than let it go to waste.
How To Store Sparkling Wine
Appropriate storage is a must if you don’t get around to drinking your sparkling wine very shortly after you bring it home. You don’t want to keep it in your refrigerator for longer than a month before opening.
Several components affect a sparkling wine’s shelf life, including temperature, light, humidity, and bottle orientation. Many sparkling wines are bottled in dark green bottles because they’re resistant to light pollution.
Prolonged exposure to UV light can permanently alter the chemical compound of your sparkling wine, so ensuring it’s somewhere away from sunlight is essential.
You should store your sparkling wine in a cool, dark place if you want to preserve its flavor profile.
Storing your sparkling wine in a wine cooler is ideal as they’re specifically designed to maintain an appropriate temperature and humidity level for the wine. However, you can keep your wine somewhere like your basement or the back of the closet if you don’t own a wine cooler.
If possible, you’ll want to ensure that wherever you choose to store your sparkling wine, you maintain a temperature between 50℉ – 55°F (10℃ – 12.78°C). Maintaining appropriate humidity is also essential, as arid conditions will cause the cork to shrivel, eventually allowing oxygen into the bottle.
Lastly, if you intend to store your bottle of sparkling wine for more than a year or two, you’ll want to make sure you store it horizontally.
There is some debate around this in the wine community, but the general school of thought is that if you store your wine horizontally, it helps keep the cork moist, which is necessary for adequately aging wines.
Sparkling wine has a shorter shelf life than many other wines and is typically ready to drink as soon as you bring them home. On average, a bottle of sparkling wine will do fine if it’s stored for up to 3 years, but the exact timeline could vary based on the wine itself.
If you’re planning on keeping your wine for more than a month before drinking it, then make sure to store it in a cool, dark place.
Lastly, remember to enjoy your bottle of sparkling wine as soon as possible once it’s opened!