Champagne Rotation for Proper Aging

You hear it occasionally at parties, or at special dinners. Someone brings out their special, savored bottle of bubbly. As they carefully prepare to pop the cork, they mention how they've diligently cared for this bottle, going down to the cellar once a month to rotate the bottle. Often they do this for years, preparing for the final day of reckoning.

Why?? It's all a confusion based on how Champagne is made.

Riddling Rack Champagne and sparkling wines are made with the methode champenoise, a technique of creating a sparkling wine. One of these stages is the riddling stage. The aim of this stage is to get the yeast sludge, left over from the fermentation, out of the bottle.

That's where the rotation during fermentation comes in. The winemakers are easing the sludge down to the neck of the bottle, without mixing it back into the Champange, so it can be removed. They remove the sludge, recap the bottle with that mushroom cap that's so famous, and put on the wire cage.

When you bring the bottle of Champagne home, there's no longer any sludge in it!! Well, you'd hope so at least. The Champange now needs to age. You want to keep the cork wet, but you don't want to disturb the wine as it ages. The temperature should be steady, 55F, and the wine should not be moved or shaken. It should lay flat on its side. It certainly does not need to be spun :)

So if you're storing a bottle of Champagne, let it rest in peace. When the years or decades have passed to turn it into its very best, open it with gentleness and care, and you will have a fine wine worth appreciating!

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All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.