Can Champagne Be Stored On Its Side

There is often a debate among wine enthusiasts about the best way to store champagne – upright or on its side. Being a lover of champagne and having personally delved into the topic, I have …

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There is often a debate among wine enthusiasts about the best way to store champagne – upright or on its side. Being a lover of champagne and having personally delved into the topic, I have participated in numerous discussions on this matter. Let’s now delve into the intricacies and uncover the reality of storing champagne on its side.

Traditionally, it has been believed that sparkling wines, including champagne, should be stored horizontally to keep the cork moist and prevent it from drying out. The reason behind this is that the cork is made from natural materials and can shrink if it dries out, allowing unwanted oxygen to enter the bottle and spoil the wine. By storing the bottle on its side, the wine remains in contact with the cork, keeping it moist and ensuring a tight seal.

However, recent research and opinions from experts have challenged this traditional wisdom. Some argue that storing champagne on its side may not be necessary because the high pressure inside the bottle can keep the cork moist even if the bottle is stored upright. They claim that storing champagne upright can actually be beneficial, as it reduces the risk of any potential cross-contamination from the cork, which may occur when the wine is in contact with the cork for an extended period.

So, what is the right way to store champagne? Well, the answer is not as straightforward as we might hope. It depends on various factors, including the type of champagne and how long you intend to store it.

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If you plan to consume the champagne within a short period, storing it in an upright position should not cause any significant harm. The pressure inside the bottle will maintain the moisture in the cork, and the wine will be protected from oxidation. However, if you’re planning to keep the champagne for an extended period, especially vintage or premium bottles, storing them on their side might be a safer option to ensure the longevity and quality of the wine.

Another aspect to consider is the storage conditions. Regardless of whether you choose to store your champagne upright or on its side, it is crucial to keep it in a cool, dark, and consistent environment. Fluctuations in temperature and exposure to light can accelerate the aging process and negatively impact the flavor and aroma of the champagne.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to store champagne on its side or upright depends on personal preference and the specific bottle of champagne in question. While there are differing opinions on this matter, it is always best to consult the winery or a trusted wine expert for guidance, especially if you have a valuable or rare bottle of champagne that you want to store for an extended period.

In conclusion, the debate about storing champagne on its side continues, with valid arguments on both sides. Whether you choose to follow the traditional method or opt for the upright approach, the most important thing is to ensure proper storage conditions such as temperature, light exposure, and humidity. By taking care of these factors, you can enjoy your champagne at its best when the time comes to pop the cork!

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John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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