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Coravin’s Comprehensive Guide to Storing Sparkling wine

Coravin’s Comprehensive Guide to Storing Sparkling wine

Raise your glasses, wine lovers, for we're about to embark on an adventure into the world of sparkling wines! Whether you're a true bubbly connoisseur or merely enjoy the thrill of popping corks, one thing is certain: storing the bottles that contain these lovely dancing droplets of celebration is an art unto itself. In this article, we'll unravel the mysteries of keeping that alluring effervescence and dig into the techniques of storing your bubbly wines with the care they deserve.

How to store a corked bottle of sparkling wine

There are many factors to take into consideration when storing a bottle of sparkling wine, namely:

Bottle Orientation

Most of the time, it is best to store a bottle of sparkling wine on its side, and at a slight angle, if possible. This way the cork will stay moist, preventing oxygen from coming and carbon dioxide from going out, a phenomenon that is guaranteed to make the bubbles disappear. Furthermore, storing sparkling wines horizontally helps minimize any damage that might be caused by ullage, the empty space above a liquid in a container.

Ullage is a natural byproduct of aging wine, since whether we want it or not, a small amount of liquid is bound to evaporate due to the laws of nature. Modern day corks are made to minimize this effect, but if you’re buying older bottles, it’s something you should check and take into consideration. Storing your bottles horizontally makes oxygen less likely to enter the bottle, speeding up the aging process and ruining the bubbles.

If you’re planning on opening a bottle soon, ideally within a month, you can store it vertically, since the pressure in the bottle will be enough to keep the cork moist and the seal intact during short-term storage.

Avoid exposure to light

It's best to keep your bottles in a dark place as UV rays from the sun can pass through the bottle and cause a phenomenon known as "light strike." Light can convert the amino acids found naturally in wines into sulfur-containing compounds that smell like rotten eggs or cabbage.

Create a humid environment

For long-term storage of sparkling wine, it’s best to keep humidity levels in the 50-85% range, which is optimal for keeping the cork moist. Too much moisture, on the other hand, might cause mold to grow on the cork, so be careful not to exceed this range.

Keep your bottles steady

Sparkling wine bottles should be kept as still as possible for long-term storage. Vibrations can really affect the concentrations of acid and alcohol, contributing to sourness and other sensory alterations. If you want to store your wines for an extended period, it’s best to keep them in a cellar, or at least at some place where there won’t be many vibrations. That’s why your refrigerator isn’t the ideal long-term storage space for sparkling wines, as you’ll often move things around. However, a wine fridge is an equally ideal solution to a cellar.

Find the best temperature

The most crucial aspect of sparkling wine's durability is knowing what temperature it should be stored at. Unopened bottles of sparkling wine can get excessively cold in standard refrigerators. The optimal temperature for sparkling wine storage is between 50 and 55 °F (10-13°C), which is the temperature of wine fridges. If you don't have a wine fridge or cellar, you can store your wines in a drawer or cabinet in a room where the sun doesn't shine too brightly. Keep in mind, though, that your bottles should be stored in places where the temperature is reasonably constant, so don't put them in rooms where you'll be putting the heat up and down frequently.

For more information on how to preserve Sparkling Wine, click here.

How to store sparkling wine once you’ve popped the cork

It’s not uncommon to find yourself with a couple of bottles that haven’t been emptied after having some friends over. Here are some insider tips to ensure that the bubbles won’t fade away as soon as the guests have left. From the ideal refrigerator temperature to specialized champagne stoppers, here are some tricks to extend the life of your favorite sparkling wines.