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How long does champagne keep?
May 19, 2006 2:43 PM   Subscribe

How long does champagne last?

I received a corked/boxed/sealed bottle of 1996 Dom last January, and I've been saving it... I just don't know how long it's safe to keep. If it's been aging for 10 years already, is it OK for a while longer, or is there a magic time period in which to drink it?
posted by duende to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
There are "vintage champagnes", which will age up to 10 years, and "champagnes", which will not age longer than a year. You probably have a vintage champagne on hand, but the label will confirm. Now is probably the best time to drink it.
posted by Mr. Six at 2:48 PM on May 19, 2006




vintage is more of a declaration by the wine authority in france...a vintage year means it is an exceptional wine and sometimes means it can be held back for several years...but not always...especially when it comes to a sparkler.....i would google the year and label and read as much as you can about it....the wine spectator is pretty much the authority on vintages in the us....i would bet dom has a website and would most likely be full of great information....good luck...
posted by jamie939 at 3:07 PM on May 19, 2006


From ktg's Robert Parker quote: "Anticipated maturity: now-2020+"
posted by ericb at 3:24 PM on May 19, 2006


As others have said, Vintage Champagne ages gracefully for several decades, and 1996 was a particularly good year so you have nothing to worry about. Drink whenever you have a special occasion to celebrate. One is bound to come along in the next 20 years or so.

btw, it will only last that long if you treat it nicely. You don't need a dedicated wine cellar or anything, but you should store it on its side in a cool, dark place where it won't be disturbed often or subject to vibrations. The back of a closet is perfect for this. Chill before serving.
posted by rorycberger at 3:48 PM on May 19, 2006


A '96 Dom should last several more years, properly tended. Though, why one would want to wait is beyond me.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:31 PM on May 19, 2006


Incidentally, the bigger the bottle, the slower it will age. So if you want to lay down a bottle of bubbly and open it in a few years for a special occasion like an anniversary or such, buy a magnum.
posted by hot soup girl at 2:48 AM on May 20, 2006


btw, it will only last that long if you treat it nicely. You don't need a dedicated wine cellar or anything, but you should store it on its side in a cool, dark place where it won't be disturbed often or subject to vibrations. The back of a closet is perfect for this.

It very much depends on the closet. In my first Astoria apartment, I had a magic closet that somehow preserved my wines indefinitely: I bought wines in 1991 that were still in great condition a decade later. Then I moved to another apartment in Astoria (the scumbag landlord lied to get me out so he could up the rent, but that's another story) and the new closet turned out to be worthless—I had to drink up the last of my good wines before they all turned to rank demon-sweat.

But yeah, if you keep it in the right environment (your refrigerator will also work), it will last for years to come.
posted by languagehat at 7:27 AM on May 20, 2006


In my experience, Champagne usually gets a more nutty taste when aged. I have had a few 1996 of different kinds, and they are all still very young. The last Dom Perignon I had was a 1995 and it was still a baby when I had it two years ago.

Do not however, that Dom Perignon is one of the better Champagnes, and therefor keeps better than a lot of other brands.

Keep it well and use it for breakfast at a special date, like an anniversary or similar :-) Btw. Keeping a champagne in a refrigerator for prolonged periods is as bad as keeping it too warm.
posted by KimG at 4:49 AM on May 21, 2006


keep it in the right environment (your refrigerator will also work)

Nah, don't store sparkling wine in the fridge long term: the vibrations mess it up. In fact, never buy sparkling wine chilled if you can avoid it - it's been in a commercial refrigerator for who knows how long, sitting there absorbing vibrations and probably getting light-affected too. Chill it yourself at home. It really does make a difference.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:18 AM on May 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


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