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I have a bottle of champagne given to me approx. 10 yrs ago. Never opened and has been in refigerator for the whole time. What is the shelf live of champagne?

HI  Pati

You've asked two questions here, but there are really more factors involved.

1.  What kind of Champagne is it?  If it is an inexpensive imitation Champagne from some large producer in the New World, then it is certainly past its prime and not worth anything at all.  But if it is a serious Champagne from France, then it could still have some life in it after ten years.  The very best French Champages last for at least that long.

2.  Storage conditions play a huge roll in this equation, and yours are problematic.  While it is good that you kept it cool, the vibrations from a refrigerator destroy the bubbles and complex molecules of sparkling wines (and other wines, too!).  I'm afraid that after ten years in the fridge, this one is going to be a mere shadow of itself, even if it started out life as a great bottle of wine.

I am sorry to be the bearer of sad news...and wish that you had asked this question ten years ago!

Paul Wagner  


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Paul Wagner


I have spent most of my adult life eating and drinking throughout the world, and can usually remember some of it! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at, where I answer questions about food and drink on the air.


30 years in the business.

I have taught at Napa Valley College for the past 20 years.

Past/Present Clients
Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines Company, The Court of Master Sommeliers, Constellation Wines, The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Vinitaly, Napa County Agricultural Commissioner.

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