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Genius Trick for Storing Champagne So It Stays Fizzy + How to Tell When It’s Expired

Keeping leftover champagne bubbly means you can drink and *cook* with it later!

If you’re like us, you love a champagne toast to ring in the New Year — but have found yourself pouring out leftover bubbly in years past. Luckily, using up the remaining bottle is possible in 2024 (and beyond) as we’ve finally learned if champagne does or doesn’t go bad after a few hours. The simple answer is yes it eventually expires like any other alcohol does once opened. However, storing it correctly keeps this drink fresh and slightly fizzy for a couple of days. With the last bit of bubbly, you can sip it or try our favorite repurposing methods — which involve cooking and baking with it. Here’s more on the storage life of this alcohol and a winemaker’s tips for keeping the bubbles intact!

What is champagne?

This alcoholic drink is actually a sparkling wine that comes from the Champagne region of France. To make this alcohol, grapes undergo an extensive production process that includes blending, fermenting and aging them. But, it’s worth it as it yields a bright and refreshing drink that makes any occasion extra special. All champagne isn’t the same as some varieties are aged (matured in the winemaker’s cellar) longer than others, giving them a richer flavor. Also, the drink can be made in various parts of Champagne — which influence the kinds of grapes used and its overall quality. Regardless of your preferred champagne pick, consider its storage life to get the most from your bottle!

Does champagne go bad?

While an unopened champagne can last anywhere from three to 10 years, breaking the seal shortens its shelf life. This is due to oxidation, which occurs when the champagne is exposed to air. Within a few hours, champagne usually starts losing its fizz. But, over time, oxidation also alters the drink’s color, aroma and flavor. Below, Olivier de Certaines, Winemaker at Flat Creek Estate and Winery, describes how this drink changes once it’s past its prime.

  • Flavor and aroma: Fresh champagne contains incredible flavors and aromas of fresh fruit, floral fragrances and spices. But these delicious flavors transition into sour smells and an earthy, mushroom-like taste when they expire.
  • Color: The champagne’s yellowish-orange or pink color will be less dull and darken.

Due to these changes, Certaines suggests consuming the drink within 1 to 3 days after opening. The good news: Storing this bubbly beverage correctly can retain some of its effervescence before it goes bad.

How to store opened champagne

Champagne should be stored in the fridge with the top sealed to preserve the fizz. “A proper seal will hold the bubbles in the bottle leaving its vibrancy to be enjoyed without overly aerated carbonation as you digest it.” Frank Schilling, co-founder of Aphrodise (a luxury sparkling rosé brand), says. Reinserting the cork into the bottle can be tricky since it expands after being pulled to open it. As a genius hassle-free alternative, Certaines notes you can cover the opening with plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band. Placing a champagne stopper like this one from Cuisinart (Buy from Amazon, $7.99) over the opening also works to maintain the existing bubbles and is leak-proof. Once stored, the drink will be ready to use for your cooking and baking needs!

Why you should cook with leftover champagne

While leftover champagne can be sipped plain or added to cocktails like this Mint Julep, it won’t be as carbonated and refreshing as when it’s freshly opened. Instead, mix that extra alcohol into a salad dressing, cake batter, cream sauce or marinade for meat or fish. Not only does this infuse the dishes with a subtle fruitiness, but the champagne’s alcohol content evaporates once heated. This leaves behind the drink’s bright flavors that make your everyday meals even tastier.

3 champagne-infused dishes to try

For delicious ways to use up champagne, we’ve rounded up these three simple dishes!

1. Champagne Vinaigrette

This Champagne Vinaigrette recipe from the Mr. Kitchen YouTube channel is sure to elevate any salad. It comes together in a food processor in about 5 minutes and boasts a creamy consistency and pungent flavor for any salad mix.

2. Champagne Cupcakes

Bake up a batch of these Champagne Cupcakes from Life, Love and Sugar the next time your dessert cravings strike! The recipe calls for reducing the alcohol in a pan, and then adding it to the batter and buttercream for moist and flavorful cupcakes.

3. Champagne Risotto

Use that sparkling wine to make a comforting dish like this Champagne Risotto recipe courtesy of Giallozafferano Italian Recipes. This recipe uses a starchy medium-grain rice called carnaroli, which produces a tender and creamy risotto. However, you can substitute it with a regular short-grain variety like arborio or jasmine rice in a pinch.

Keep reading for more ways to maximize leftover ingredients!

Don’t Throw That Leftover Rice Out: Fry It Up Into a Delicious, Unusually Healthy Side Dish

Leftover Buttermilk Is Too Good To Waste — 11 Delicious Ways To Use It Up

13 Deliciously Easy Ways to Use Up Leftover Sweetened Condensed Milk

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