Shelf life & storage

Wie alle alkoholischen Getränke, verfügen auch Champagner über kein MHD (Mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum). Alkohol wirkt desinfizierend. Deswegen kann auf ein MHD verzichtet werden. Vielmehr hängt die Haltbarkeit von verschiedenen anderen Faktoren ab. Champagner sind sehr empfindlich und reagieren relativ schnell auf die Umgebung, in der die Flaschen gelagert werden. Damit Champagner überhaupt über einen längeren Zeitraum seinen vollen Genuss behält, ist eine entsprechende Lagerung notwendig. Deswegen ist es immer kritisch zu betrachten Champagner im Einzelhandel zu kaufen, wo abzusehen ist, dass die Flaschen bereits über längere Zeit in den Regalen standen, in denen sie Licht und Wärme ausgesetzt gewesen sind.

The minimum requirement to even talk about a longer shelf life is therefore a correct storage. Champagne should be stored in absolute darkness. The temperature should be as constant as possible. Champagne and white wine are even more sensitive to fluctuating temperatures than to excessively warm temperatures. A good storage temperature is 12°C. The cooler champagne is stored, the slower its ripening process. In addition, champagne must rest. Shocks have a negative effect.

However, the temperature should be above 4°C. All juice, including grape juice, consists primarily of water. Water has its highest density at 4°C. If the temperature drops below that, water expands. This happens drastically at temperatures around and below freezing. Even if the alcohol content counteracts this somewhat, a cork cannot stop the carbon dioxide. In extreme cases, the cork could be forced out or the bottle could burst.

As a rule of thumb, the shelf life is the period of time that a champagne has matured on the yeast. This means for standard cuvées a period of about 3 years (discount champagne rather only 2 years) and for high-quality champagne, such as the classified Grand Cru and Premier Cru Champagne, as well as Prestige Cuvée and vintage champagne, about 5 to 12 years. With correspondingly available acidity and also otherwise perfect circumstances, champagne can also be durable for decades. At some point, however, even the best cork wears off, and since counterpressure is usually absent, Champagne loses its carbonic acid. The result is a still wine.

en_USEnglish