Recently a reader left a comment regarding something I said in my review of Nicolas Feuillatte’s Palmes d’Or Champagne that gave me pause. I said I’d left the bottle in the fridge for some months, and the commenter claimed that the “vibrations of a commercial fridge” would essentially kill the bottle.
That was news to me, so I asked the experts, putting the question to Nicolas Feuillatte itself: Should Champagne be stored in the fridge long-term? The answer? No, not really, but not because of anything having to do with vibration.
Here’s their full response from Feuillatte’s press relations representative, unedited.
I checked with a few Champagne pals, and evidently it’s good to keep in the fridge for a few weeks, but you probably shouldn’t keep it much longer than that. As you know, when Champagne is released from the producer’s cellar, it’s at optimum drinking age. Of course, many can be aged to beautiful drinking at much older ages, but that requires that they be kept cool (but not freezing cold) and in average humidity. While it’s possible to regulate humidity in a fridge, it’s less easy to keep a bottle just cool.
You’re safe up to a few weeks, maybe slightly longer, but it’s really not recommended.
As for the vibration, we’ve never heard that before. All the Champagne houses I know ship their wines overseas on a boat; I would imagine the few weeks that takes would do more damage than a fridge would over the course of a few days. That’s maybe not that scientific, but our general consensus.
So there you have it. A few weeks in the fridge is OK. A few months, maybe not. Keep it cool, but not cold. And don’t worry about the vibrations… except the good ones you get when you drink it.