Have I ruined the fancy champagne?
July 22, 2013 6:42 PM   Subscribe

I bought three bottles of Veuve Clicquot. They are thank you gifts after a big project. One bottle went into the fridge to be shared out in person. The other two I left in a room to be sent home with two different individuals. The room was then sealed off for 8 off the hottest days of the year with no open windows or a/c. Oops. Have I ruined them?

There's not much more to this question than that. Are these bottles safe to hand over, or should I suck it up, go out and buy two more bottles, and tuck the first two bottles away for a day and time when I would like to have some nice champagne, but don't have to be positive it won't be ruined champagne?

I don't want to give these people what is meant as a thank you for all their hard work, and end up giving them really terrible champagne instead.
posted by instead of three wishes to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How hot are we talking here? Texas hot? Direct sunlight?

This former bartender is sorry to tell you that if your bubbly broke 73ish degrees, there's a non-negligible chance that it's ruined. Champagne is even more finicky than regular white wine. You should probably buy new bottles.

BUT! Silver lining: Now you've got two mystery bottles of champagne that might or might not be fit for consumption. And hey, if they're just a little off, have some sugar cubes and bitters at the ready.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 7:03 PM on July 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

The answer is a resounding "maybe" - extended storage at high temperatures (90F or 35C) is certainly bad for wine, but eight days isn't an extended period, and it's actually not uncommon for wine to be treated that way in shipment. On the other hand, there's lots of speculation that "wine X doesn't travel well" actually means "wine X was cooked in transit." If you can afford it, buy two new bottles, but I'd certainly hold on to the 2 cooked bottles & try them myself :-). Common wisdom is that the wine will "recover" if left for a few months, but there's little scientific evidence to back this. What is known is that elevated temperatures accelerate the aging of wine. Good luck.
posted by mr vino at 7:06 PM on July 22, 2013

Response by poster: Massachusetts this last week hit 99 degrees -- and the days not that hot were close. The room was a sunroom, so... it was pretty darn hot. :(
posted by instead of three wishes at 7:12 PM on July 22, 2013

Buy the new bottles.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:19 PM on July 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If you buy two new and keep the other two to drink later, that just gives you more opportunities to say Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, which is the most fun thing to say ever.
posted by raisingsand at 7:28 PM on July 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

Veuve is pretty much an industrial confection. The chances we quite good it will be fine for near term drinking. Even a better champagne might not immediately show heat damage.

Also don't buy Veuve.
posted by JPD at 2:48 AM on July 23, 2013

Try one. Saves you 50% of the replacement cost.
posted by cromagnon at 8:03 AM on July 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

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