Champagne without a doubt is categorically and without exception the most noble and celebrated of all beverages, which carries a level of prestige and status that simply nothing else comes close to.
There has always been a number of conflicting theories as to whether it is preferable to store a Champagne bottle horizontally or vertically, each with its own unique and imaginative reasons as to why.
Both theories seem to have their plus-points, but practicality would seem to lean more toward horizontal storage which prevents the cork from drying out. A wine rack is an ideal storage device to this effect and they are easily available from Wine merchants and furniture stores.
Champagne should be stored between 10c-15c in a cool, dry space away from sunlight, though extra care should be taken to select an area that is not prone to temperature fluctuations or a potential knock or disturbance.
If you can try and simulate the conditions you would expect to find in a cellar, which is the ideal home for all wines across the board. Generally speaking, an out-of-the-way cupboard or unused wardrobe makes a good alternative.
Although many believe that doing so preserves freshness, it is important to never store Champagne in a refrigerator for too long. Of course, the bottle must be perfectly chilled and put on ice before and during serving, but such only requires a couple of hours in the fridge, or maybe a day or two at the very most. By storing Champagne in the refrigerator for extended periods of time, you run the very real risk of destroying many of the complexities of flavour, reducing the overall quality and worth substantially.
When serving your cooled Champagne, hold the bottle with a full hand and do not take it by the neck. Use a flute or tulip glass that has been polished and dried so that you can create micro fibres that ensure that the Champagne is bubbly and tasteful. Fill the required amount of glasses with a small amount so that it settles. After this, decant every glass two-thirds full with Champagne. If you have some Champagne left over that you wish to retain, you can store it in a refrigerator for a few days provided you have a champagne stopper, which prevents oxidation.
It is also advisable to store all Champagne horizontally in a wine-rack somewhere cool, dark and out of the way for a good few days following purchase, as all genuine Champagne will have travelled from France and may therefore require a good deal of time to settle.
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