Veuve Clicquot is one of the most famous champagne brands in the world. Their signature yellow label Brut champagne is known for its full bodied, biscuity flavors and fine bubbles. However, like all wines, Veuve Clicquot champagne does not last forever. So does Veuve Clicquot go out of date and if so, what is its shelf life?
How long does a bottle of Veuve Clicquot last unopened?
An unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot can last a very long time if it is stored properly. The key factors that determine the shelf life of Veuve Clicquot are temperature, light exposure, motion and the condition of the cork and bottle.
Veuve Clicquot recommends storing unopened champagne bottles at a constant temperature between 10-15°C (50-59°F) in a dark place where there is no vibration. If stored optimally like this, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot can easily last 20 years or longer before going bad.
Lower storage temperatures near 10°C are ideal for slower aging. Warmer temperatures up to 15°C will age the champagne faster. Temperatures above 25°C can start to deteriorate the wine. Large temperature swings can also degrade the champagne quicker, so pick a storage spot with minimal temperature fluctuation.
Light exposure can damage wine over time, so store Veuve Clicquot bottles away from sunlight and fluorescent lights. A cellar or wine fridge is best. If you store it in a dark kitchen cabinet or pantry, that can work well too.
Vibration and motion can disturb the lees sediment in the champagne and cause off flavors to develop. Store bottles still and upright to minimize agitation.
Make sure the bottle is in good condition with no signs of past seepage or a deteriorated cork. Look for bottles that have been kept sideways to keep the cork moist.
By following these proper storage guidelines, you can expect an unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot to stay good for at least 10-20 years past its production date. Well stored bottles that are 40+ years old can still taste great if the cork and wine have held up.
How can you tell if unopened Veuve Clicquot is bad?
If you come across a bottle of Veuve Clicquot that seems like it might be past its prime, here are some signs to look for:
- The cork is pushed up and seems dried out or cracked
- The wine level is low in the bottle indicating past seepage
- The bottle is warm or hot to the touch indicating temperature abuse
- The bottle is stored upright instead of on its side
- There are flakes, sediments or crystals visible in the wine sediment
- The foil capsule is heavily corroded or rusted
Any of these flaws likely mean the champagne is oxidized or spoiled from poor storage. You can do a visual inspection of the cork and wine. However, the best way to tell if it turned is to carefully open it and taste. If the champagne smells or tastes off, it is past its prime.
How long does opened Veuve Clicquot last?
Once opened, Veuve Clicquot does not last nearly as long as an unopened bottle. Exposure to oxygen starts the countdown to the champagne going flat and losing its freshness. However, there are still steps you can take to prolong its shelf life.
General guidelines for how long Veuve Clicquot lasts opened:
- Fridge – 3-5 days
- Wine preserver spray – 1-2 weeks
- Wine pump/stopper – 2-4 weeks
Storing opened Veuve Clicquot in the fridge is the shortest option, but works well for a couple days max. The cold temps help slow down reactions.
Wine preserver sprays like Private Preserve displace oxygen from the bottle with inert gases. They can double the fridge life to 1-2 weeks for an opened bottle.
Wine pumps and stoppers are the best option for maximizing leftover Veuve Clicquot storage. They remove oxygen from the bottle to prevent oxidation. Used properly they can extend the shelf life of an opened bottle for up to a month.
No matter what preservation method you use, keep leftover champagne stored cold in the fridge. Watch for any fizziness disappearing or off odors developing as signs it is starting to go bad.
Does putting Veuve Clicquot back in the bottle work?
It is possible to reseal opened Veuve Clicquot back in the bottle using a wine pump or champagne stopper. This can extend its life for weeks. However, there are some downsides to this method.
Once opened and exposed to oxygen, the champagne slowly starts to degrade. Resealing it cannot reverse this, only slow it down. The champagne is unlikely to taste as crisp and effervescent as when it was first opened.
There is also a higher risk of oxidation or contamination if not resealed properly. You do not want to seal any microbes or off tastes in with the wine.
For short term storage under a week, resealing works fine. But for longer aging, it is recommended to transfer leftover Veuve Clicquot into smaller 187mL single serving bottles. This minimizes oxygen exposure and avoids any issues resealing the large bottle.
Does Veuve Clicquot expire?
Yes, technically Veuve Clicquot does expire and will eventually go bad if left for too long. However, when properly stored, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot has a remarkably long shelf life. This allows you to cellar it for many years before it is past its prime.
An unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot stored optimally can stay fresh tasting for at least 10-20 years past the production date on the label. Elite vintage and prestige cuvées can age even longer 30+ years.
Once opened, Veuve Clicquot lasts 3-5 days refrigerated. Using wine pumps, preservers and champagne stoppers can extend the life of an opened bottle anywhere from 2-6 weeks.
Over time, Veuve Clicquot will slowly lose its bubbles, aroma and flavor. Eventually it will oxidize, taking on nutty sherry-like flavors. An expired bottle may also smell vinegary, yeasty or like nail polish remover.
Veuve Clicquot continues to be safe to drink long after it loses freshness. Only if the bottle is flawed or corked does it become undrinkable. But older champagne past its peak lacks the liveliness, crisp acidity and vibrancy of younger vintages.
To enjoy Veuve Clicquot at its best, consume younger vintages within 3-7 years of the production date. Vintage and luxury cuvees can age longer. For anything you cellar long term, inspect bottles carefully before opening.
How to read the production code on Veuve Clicquot bottles
Checking the production code printed on the Veuve Clicquot label can help you determine the age of any bottle. Here is how to read it:
The code will be a series of letters, numbers and symbols like: LD1059B8NL750
The first part LD is the batch number. 1059 is the production date. B8 indicates the year 2008. NL750 is the bottle size 750mL.
So this bottle was batch LD, produced on October 59th (or May 10th) in 2008. Easy!
Production dates typically range anywhere from 1980s to early 2000s for readily available Veuve Clicquot. Anything earlier than 1980 may require some extra aging precautions.
Tips for aging Veuve Clicquot properly
Here are some tips for maximizing the aging potential and lifespan of Veuve Clicquot bottles in your collection:
- Store bottles on their sides at 45-55° angle to keep the corks moist
- Maintain storage temperature between 45-65°F
- Minimize temperature fluctuations – pick a cool cellar spot
- Keep bottles away from direct sunlight and vibration
- Inspect bottles and corks carefully for proper fill levels and signs of seepage
- Consider extra cellar aging for vintage and prestige cuvees
- Limit aging of non-vintage brut to 5-7 years max
- Use wine preservers and pumps to maximize opened bottle life
Following these guidelines allows you to enjoy Veuve Clicquot at its peak. But remember even tainted champagne is not hazardous if consumed in moderation.
How to tell when opened Veuve Clicquot goes bad
Here are the common signs that an opened bottle of Veuve Clicquot has gone past its prime and is oxidized or spoiled:
- Flat with no bubbles
- Cloudy appearance
- Off smells – vinegar, nail polish, acetone
- Cardboard, papery or sherry-like taste
- Metallic flavors
- Grainy or patchy texture
Champagne is very sensitive to oxygen once opened. During the first day, you will notice it losing effervescence and fruitiness. After 3-5 days refrigerated, significant degradation occurs.
While flat or oxidized Veuve Clicquot won’t make you sick, the taste becomes unpalatable. Always taste test leftover bottles after storing to check the quality before serving or cooking with it.
The shelf life of different Veuve Clicquot styles
Within the Veuve Clicquot range, there are several different styles and vintages of champagne. Here are the general shelf lives for each:
Yellow Label Brut
- Unopened: 3-5 years
- Opened: 3-5 days
La Grande Dame
- Unopened: 8-15 years
- Opened: 3-5 days
- Unopened: 10-20+ years
- Opened: 3-5 days
- Unopened: 2-3 years
- Opened: 2-3 days
In general, rosé and non-vintage brut are best consumed younger, while vintage and luxury cuvées like La Grande Dame are designed for aging. Proper storage always maximizes shelf life across the range.
How to salvage a bottle of oxidized Veuve Clicquot
If you open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to find it is oxidized, flat and past its prime, there are some tricks to salvage it:
- Use in a champagne cocktail by adding liquor, juice, etc. This can mask off flavors
- Make champagne vinegar by exposing it to oxygen for weeks to acetify
- Cook with it instead of drinking it straight – use in sauces, desserts
- Turn it into a champagne jelly or granita to minimize bubbles needed
While you won’t be able to recover the fresh, lively flavors, you can still avoid wasting the champagne. Get creative incorporating it into fun new recipes!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Veuve Clicquot expire?
Yes, Veuve Clicquot does expire eventually due to oxidation and loss of carbonation. However, when stored properly, it lasts much longer than typical wine. An unopened bottle can stay good for 10-20+ years past the production date before going bad.
Can you drink expired Veuve Clicquot?
You can safely consume Veuve Clicquot long after it expires, however it likely won’t taste very palatable or fresh. Expired champagne loses its signature bubbles, fruity flavors and takes on nutty, sherry notes. But it does not become toxic or dangerous to drink.
What happens if you drink expired champagne?
Drinking expired, oxidized champagne does not pose any health risks beyond possibly causing minor stomach upset in some sensitive individuals. However, the taste becomes flat, unpleasant and acidic. Expired champagne is safe to consume but provides poor flavor.
Does unopened champagne go bad?
Properly stored champagne can remain drinkable for decades before going bad. Cool cellar temperatures around 45-55°F, minimal light exposure, proper cork sealing and upright bottle positioning all help to maximize the shelf life of unopened champagne like Veuve Clicquot to 20+ years.
How long does open champagne last in fridge?
Champagne oxidizes rapidly once opened. In the fridge, an opened bottle of Veuve Clicquot will last 3-5 days max. To extend the shelf life up to 4 weeks, use wine stoppers or preservers to minimize exposure to oxygen.
Veuve Clicquot can stay fresh and delicious long past many wines, thanks to the preserving power of effervescence. While it does eventually expire, optimal storage conditions can easily prolong the life of a bottle for 10-20+ years.
Unopened Veuve Clicquot lasts the longest at cool cellar temperatures around 45-55°F. Upright, light-protected bottles with intact corks and fill levels can age beautifully for decades.
Once popped open, drink within 3-5 days. Use wine stoppers, champagne preservers and small splits to maximize leftover bubbly. Consume rosés and younger vintages quickly, while vintage and prestige cuvees warrant extra cellaring.
Look for any sediment, clouding, off aromas or loss of fizz as signals a bottle is oxidized and past its prime. But even expired Veuve Clicquot poses no safety issues if consumed in moderation.
With proper storage and care, the signature biscuit, citrus and toasty notes of Veuve Clicquot can be enjoyed for many years down the road. While it doesn’t last forever, this iconic champagne ages gracefully for any special occasion.