How long can you keep a bottle of champagne?

Champagne is a sparkling wine that is synonymous with celebration and enjoyment. The popping of a champagne cork signals the start of momentous events like New Year’s Eve or the launch of a new business. But like all wines, champagne has a shelf life. So how long can an unopened bottle of champagne last before it goes bad?

Quick Answer

An unopened bottle of champagne can last:

  • 1-2 days After Opening
  • 3-5 days in the fridge After Opening
  • 1-2 years in proper storage if Non-Vintage
  • 3-5 years for Vintage champagne in proper storage
  • 10-15 years for high quality Vintage champagne in proper storage

How Long Does Champagne Last Unopened?

An unopened bottle of champagne can last a remarkably long time if it is properly stored. According to wine experts, the shelf life of champagne is:

  • 1-2 years past its production date if it is a Non-Vintage champagne
  • At least 3-5 years if it is a Vintage champagne
  • 10-15 years or longer for high quality Vintage champagne

So you don’t have to worry about drinking that bottle of bubbly immediately. As long as the champagne is kept at the proper temperature and humidity, it will retain its bubbles and taste for years to come.

Non-Vintage Champagne

Non-Vintage champagnes are blends of different vintages and are meant to taste consistent year to year. The production date on the bottle indicates when the champagne was bottled, not when the grapes were harvested. Non-Vintage champagnes like a basic Brut are at their peak quality within 1-2 years after disgorgement (when yeast sediment is removed from the bottle).

Vintage Champagne

Vintage champagnes are made from grapes all harvested in the same year. The date on a Vintage champagne indicates the year the grapes were harvested. Vintage champagnes also have superior aging potential to Non-Vintages, lasting at least 3-5 years after release. Prestige cuvees made in exceptional years can age gracefully for 10-15+ years.

Proper Storage Conditions for Champagne

To get the most longevity out of your champagne, proper storage is key. Here are the best ways to store champagne:

  • Store upright at a consistent 50-55°F temperature
  • Keep away from direct sunlight and vibration
  • Store in a humid area about 60-70% humidity
  • Keep the foil and cork intact
  • Store in a dark location, like a wine cellar

With bottle maturation in proper conditions, the flavors in champagne can develop into a richer, toastier profile while preserving the delicate bubbles.

Consistent Cool Temperature

Temperature fluctuation is the enemy of long-lasting champagne. Store champagne in a climate-controlled wine cellar or fridge that maintains a consistent cool temperature between 50-55°F (10-13°C).

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Light exposure can damage champagne. Keep bottles away from windows and direct sunlight.

Minimize Vibration

Vibrations from loud music, moving the bottle, or slamming doors can prematurely deplete the bubbles. Store champagne in a still, vibration-free area.

High Humidity

Dry environments can cause champagne corks to dry out and shrink, losing their seal. Store bottles at 60-70% humidity to keep corks moist and tightened.

Intact Foil and Cork

Leaving the foil and cork undamaged ensures a good seal that prevents oxidation.

Dark Location

A naturally dark wine cellar or closed cabinet avoids light damage and provides ideal champagne storage.

How to Tell if Champagne Has Gone Bad

If you’ve had a bottle of champagne hanging around for awhile, here’s how to tell if it’s still good to drink:

  • Appearance – Bubbles may dissipate over time but champagne shouldn’t be completely flat. Signs of cloudiness, off colors or debris mean it’s time to toss it.
  • Smell – A slightly oxidative, nutty aroma is normal for mature champagne. Sour, yeasty or rotten odors mean it’s past its prime.
  • Taste – An older champagne may taste rounder and sweeter but it shouldn’t taste vinegary, cardboardy or rotten.

If the champagne tastes unpleasantly oxidized or acetic, you’ll know it’s gone over the hill.

How Long Does Opened Champagne Last?

Once opened, champagne has a much shorter shelf life. Exposure to oxygen starts the countdown to the death of those bubbles. Here’s how long opened champagne will last:

  • 1-2 days if left out at room temperature
  • 3-5 days if refrigerated

To maximize leftover champagne, re-cork or use a champagne stopper. Keep chilled at 35-40°F. For the best result, consume any leftovers quickly within a day or two.

Room Temperature Storage After Opening

Leaving opened champagne out at room temperature (68-72°F) allows the bubbles to dissipate fairly quickly. The champagne will start to go flat within a couple hours and taste stale after 1-2 days.

Refrigerated Storage After Opening

Popping the bottle in the fridge can extend its life slightly. The cold temperature helps keep the carbonation alive for 3-5 days usually. Make sure to seal the bottle with a stopper.

How to Store Leftover Champagne

To prolong the life of leftover champagne, consider these storage tips:

  • Use a champagne stopper or cork it tightly.
  • Keep upright in the fridge at 35-40°F.
  • Drink within 3 days preferably.
  • Don’t store more than 5-7 days.
  • Never freeze champagne bottles as they may explode.

Avoid letting leftover champagne languish too long. The bubbles will rapidly lose their vigor after opening. Enjoy any remaining champagne within a few days for optimal freshness and effervescence.

Does Champagne Go Bad When Frozen?

Do not freeze champagne bottles! The expanding liquid can create too much pressure and actually cause the bottle to explode. Broken glass and flying corks are dangerous.

Freezing temperatures also destroy the carbonation, texture, and flavor of champagne. The delicate bubbles collapse and the wine ends up flat. What’s even worse, frozen champagne often takes on a yeasty, unpleasant taste.

So refrigeration is fine but never put champagne bottles in the freezer. Leave it chilled at serving temperature instead around 40-50°F.

Can Bad Champagne Make You Sick?

Drinking spoiled, bad champagne poses some health risks you should know about:

  • Food poisoning -wine gone vinegar can harbor bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella leading to food poisoning symptoms.
  • Headache – The compounds in oxidized wine can commonly trigger headaches.
  • Congeners – Higher congener levels in bad wine may worsen hangovers.
  • Gastrointestinal upset – Spoiled wine can cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The foul compounds produced as wine goes offside can be toxic. At best, bad champagne causes a horrific headache and hangover. At worst, it can induce food poisoning. If in doubt, don’t take the risk of drinking spoiled bubbly.

Signs Champagne Has Spoiled

Here are some clear giveaways that champagne has gone bad and may be unsafe to drink:

  • Smells like nail polish remover, vinegar or Sherry
  • Cloudy appearance
  • White floaties or particles
  • Push the cork into the bottle easily
  • Completely flat
  • Sour, yeasty, rotten, or cardboard taste
  • Grainy, astringent texture
  • Off white or brown color

Champagne is highly perishable so its shelf life decreases exponentially after opening. Some obvious red flags like mold, particles, and rancid odors denote a spoiled champagne.

How to Salvage Flat Champagne

Over time, opened champagne starts to lose its bubbly charm. But if it still smells and tastes OK, you can salvage flat champagne a few ways:

  • Add a sugar cube – The leftover yeast will feed on the sugar and produce some bubbles.
  • Use a secret weapon like carbonation drops, Perlage system, or SodaStream to re-carbonate.
  • Blend with juice or liqueur for a mimosa or cocktail.
  • Use in cooking recipes like champagne chicken.

While it won’t be as effervescent as freshly-opened champagne, flat bubbly can be repurposed into cocktails or cooking to avoid waste.

Drop a Sugar Cube In

Add a teaspoon of sugar or simple sugar cube into the flat champagne and gently stir to dissolve it. As the remaining live yeast feeds on the sugar, it will produce a little carbon dioxide and perk up the bubbles a bit. Let it sit for 30-60 minutes before serving.

Use Carbonation Products

You can re-carbonate flat champagne back to life using systems like:

  • Perlage CO2 regulator kit – Preserves bubbles for 5-7 days.
  • Fizzpod – Portable tool to instantly carbonate by pump.
  • SodaStream – Adds bubbles to water or champagne.

These devices infuse more carbon dioxide into the champagne to restore its sparkle. They can salvage opened bottles for another day or two.

Mix With Other Drinks

Flat champagne still offers a nice flavor. Use it as a base for fun cocktails like:

  • Mimosa – orange juice & champagne
  • Bellini – peach puree & champagne
  • French 75 – gin, lemon, champagne
  • Kir Royale – creme de cassis & champagne

Other juices, liqueurs, and spirits can mask the lack of bubbles in flat champagne. Mix up something delicious to avoid waste.

Cooking With Spoiled Champagne

Cooking is a good last resort for bad champagne that’s past its prime. Avoid drinking spoiled wine. But if the champagne smells alright, its acidity and flavor can enhance certain recipes like:

  • Poached pears or berries
  • Mussels or clams steamed in champagne
  • Sweet champagne glazed ham
  • Champagne chicken or shrimp
  • Risotto and pasta dishes
  • Champagne vanilla sauce for fruit
  • Champagne jelly or jam
  • Champagne vinegar

The alcohol cooks off leaving behind the bright flavor. Avoid wasting a gone-bad bottle of bubbly by cooking with it instead.

Poaching Fruits in Champagne

Poaching pears, apples, or berries in champagne creates an elegant dessert. The champagne imparts sweet, complex flavors as the fruit softens.

Steaming Seafood

Mussels, clams, and oysters steamed open in a broth of champagne, herbs, and shallots is a quick, delicious meal.

Deglazing Pan Sauces

Spoiled champagne adds a tangy acidity when used to deglaze pan sauces or gravies. Create rich sauces for chicken, pork, or beef.

Sweet Glazes for Ham or Chicken

Simmer bad champagne with sugar or honey to create a sweet glaze for baked ham, chicken, or duck.

How Long Does Champagne Vinegar Last?

As champagne starts to spoil, one option is to intentionally let it ferment into vinegar. Champagne vinegar lasts:

  • 12-18 months past expiration date
  • Indefinitely if unopened
  • 6-12 months after opening

The acetic acid created during fermentation better preserves champagne vinegar compared to wine. An unopened bottle lasts indefinitely.

Unopened Champagne Vinegar

Like other vinegars, unopened champagne vinegar has an indefinite shelf life. The acidic pH below 4.2 makes it very resistant to spoilage.

Opened Champagne Vinegar

After opening, champagne vinegar will keep about 6-12 months. Transfer to a clean airtight container and refrigerate after opening to maximize shelf life.

Expired Champagne Vinegar

Tightly sealed bottles of champagne vinegar can last around 12-18 months past the ‘best by’ date. If it smells as sharp and acidic as vinegar should, it’s likely still fine.

How to Tell if Champagne Vinegar is Bad

Signs that champagne vinegar has spoiled and should be discarded:

  • Cloudy appearance
  • Mold growth
  • Strange colors or sediment
  • Sweet, fermented odor
  • Bitter, rancid, or funky taste

Champagne vinegar doesn’t really expire but it can develop off-flavors or appearance over time. Toss if it seems obviously spoiled.


With proper storage conditions, a bottle of champagne has impressive longevity. Vintage champagnes aged over years can exhibit complex, toasted notes not found in younger wines. But once popped, it’s countdown to flat. Optimally, finish champagne within a few days of opening.

Check bottles for signs of spoilage before consuming. Discard any flat, smelly, or off-tasting champagne that could make you sick. But with the right care, unopened champagne and vinegar can be kept for years then cracked open to ring in special occasions.

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