A customer asks Park Lane a question #1 [about champagne aging]

My wife bought a magnum of personalised rose champagne for a special occasion six and a half years ago. The bottle has never been opened. Would it still be fine to drink this forthcoming new years eve?




Dear MA,

Thank you for the query.

I think the simple answer here is that there is no downside from opening it.  If you were going to be extra cautious, then a reserve bottle of champagne in case of catastrophe might be a good idea!

There is no definitive answer to the question because there are so many variables that affects how champagne ages;  storage and temperature are critical.  Light also plays a significant role.  In simple terms, cool and dark and constant temperature are ideal;  warm and dark and constant are tolerable.  Light is a big no-no – and especially if your pink champagne is in a clear glass bottle, as opposed to a green one.

Non-vintage champagne is essentially intended for drinking when it is shipped and ordinarily is in optimal condition for upto 18 months or so.  There are some people who like old(er) non-vintage champagne but that would generally be where the post-disgorgement storage has been optimum.  As  non vintage champagne ages, so the wine develops an increasing (what I refer to as a) “cardboard” taste.  If your pink is in clear bottles, you might notice that the colour has moved from vibrant pink towards a duller auburn.  Either way, the mousse (bubbles) should be intact and you should consider with your co-celebrators on NYE, that the champagne tasting is an experiment.

Good luck and I hope this helps.  Above all:  enjoy!

Kind regards