While sparkling wines like Champagne should be served at a lower temperature than reds and full-bodied whites -- 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit is best -- they can be stored alongside the other wines in your collection. You can store your sparkling wine in a cool, dark place that maintains a consistent temperature of 55 F or so, but like any other wine, it shouldn't be subjected to temperature fluctuations.
Champagne and Temperature Fluctuations
Like other wines, sparkling wines of all kinds should be kept at a consistent temperature as much as possible. Fluctuations can compromise the integrity of the wine, and the higher the temperature, the more the quality of your wine suffers. Because Champagne is under so much pressure, raising the temperature too much, too fast may risk popping the cork.
Buying and Storing Champagne
If you buy chilled Champagne in the store and you're unable to chill it on the way home, don't worry -- this brief temperature change should not cause any problems. Your bubbly should never reach a temperature of 86 F or above. If you want to transfer a bottle from your refrigerator to long-term storage, this one-time temperature raise is generally acceptable, as long as it is stored at or around 55 F. Once it's chilled a second time, it should stay chilled. Chill the bottle in your refrigerator for two hours before serving.
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Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.