I have an older bottle of champagne. Is it still drinkable?
Because of strict aging requirements, champagnes are ready to drink when they are released to the market. (Classic nonvintage champagnes are generally aged in the cellar for 2 to 3 years, and vintage champagnes for 4 to 5 years.) However, most champagnes will age well if properly stored. Typically, classic champagnes can be kept for about 5 years, and vintage champagnes for about 10 years after their release. Keep in mind that, like other wines, champagnes change as they age. These changes will become more pronounced after 5 years. As champagnes evolve, the fruit aromas of a younger wine will evolve into dried fruit, honey, nutty and toasty flavors. Champagnes also take on a deeper-golden color as they age and tend to lose some of their effervescence. Although many consumers prefer fresher, younger champagnes, some people appreciate the characteristics of older champagnes as well, especially with a meal.
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