Can you drink Champagne after 5 years?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

It is absolutely possible to drink Champagne after 5 years, and in fact, many Champagne enthusiasts believe that this is the ideal time to enjoy certain types of Champagne. Non-vintage Champagnes, which are blends of multiple years, can generally be kept unopened for three to four years. However, if you decide to age them for longer, say five years or more, you will likely notice some interesting changes in the wine.

One of the most noticeable changes that occurs as Champagne ages is a shift in its color. When Champagne is first bottled, it typically has a pale, golden hue. However, as it ages, it can develop a deeper, more pronounced golden color. This change in color is a result of chemical reactions that take place within the wine as it interacts with oxygen over time.

Additionally, as Champagne ages, it tends to lose some of its effervescence. The bubbles, which are created during the secondary fermentation process, gradually dissipate over time. This can result in a less lively and more mellow mouthfeel. Some people actually prefer this softer texture that aged Champagne can offer.

However, it’s important to note that not all Champagnes are meant to be aged for extended periods of time. Vintage Champagnes, which are made from grapes harvested in a single exceptional year, can typically be kept unopened for five to ten years. These wines often have more complexity and depth, and they can benefit from additional aging.

When deciding whether to drink Champagne after 5 years, it’s also important to consider your personal taste preferences. Some people enjoy the fresh and vibrant characteristics of young Champagne, while others appreciate the added complexity and richness that comes with age. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference.

In my own experience, I have had the opportunity to taste Champagne that has been aged for five years or more, and I have found it to be a truly delightful experience. The changes that occur in the wine over time can bring out new aromas and flavors, adding layers of complexity that are intriguing to explore. I have particularly enjoyed the deeper, more golden color that aged Champagne can develop, as well as the softened effervescence that gives the wine a unique texture.

Champagne can certainly be enjoyed after 5 years of aging. Non-vintage Champagnes can be kept unopened for three to four years, but aging them for longer can result in interesting changes in color and texture. Vintage Champagnes, made from grapes harvested in exceptional years, can be aged for five to ten years or even longer. Ultimately, the decision to drink Champagne after 5 years comes down to personal preference, but it can offer a unique and rewarding tasting experience.