Important Wine Tip of the Day

Warning: If you're a snooty sommelier, please do not read!

I have a secret. It's not something you'll read about in Wine Spectator, nor is it likely that your most educated wine buddies will divulge this little tidbit. 

French champagne can resurrect from the dead even after it has been frozen. A few weeks ago, we celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. Since we don't know anyone who has been married for that long (to the same person that is!), it was definitely an occasion to celebrate. We headed to one of our favorite Sonoma County restaurants, The Farmhouse, and had an extraordinary meal. We ended up taking home a half bottle of champagne and threw it in the freezer for “later.” Well, later never came.  Lucky for us, the bottle remained frozen and intact, next to the waffles and vanilla ice cream.

Last night I stumbled across the long lost bottle. I reluctantly took it out and let it defrost. After an hour or so, I'm pleased to say my Monday night instantly became more festive. Believe it or not, the bubbles were still bubbly and the flavors still appealing. While there were a few “floaties” here and there, it was surprisingly tasty.

Now I'm not recommending you freeze champagne for later use. This can actually backfire, causing quite a mess. On the other hand, don't fret if you make the same mistake I did. As long as the wine has room to expand and because the temperature is cold enough to capture the bubbles in solution, you should be fine.

And, with the price of good champagne what it is, it's worth a try.

| | Comments (5)


Donna Gilberg said:
February 6, 2009 2:24 PM

Arnold and I will have to do that with our 27th anniversary in June. Hope you and Don had a great one. Here's to you and the champagne.

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
February 8, 2009 8:17 PM

Thanks for checking this blog out Donna. Great to hear from you!

JohnLopresti Author Profile Page said:
February 10, 2009 6:08 PM

I can imagine the explanation to the waiter, see, we have a dog at home, and could you please pack the champagne half bottle in ice...

Cellar aisle: the story about champagne's enjoying a rebirth after cryogenic storage recalls my surprise at the slushy sound in one expensive winery's cellar, about which I asked its famous winemaker when walking to his upstairs office with him once. For some reason, he liked to have his lab and computer console close to the hub where cellar pipes transited to the bottling premise. He explained that he sent white wine to the filler in slush consistency to assure aroma, I believe the temperature he cited was 27 F. for premium varietal white wine during pumping from aging tank to bottling filler.

Admittedly, I learned only some of his secrets, some purposely related, as above, some incidentally, as with his pinot noir experiments with a new diaphragm pump which used to slow as cold crush pad temperatures coated the pump with ice during transfer from tank to press.

I think champagne bottle glass capable of withstanding 7 atmospheres pressure is the only vessel that I would try in a freezer, however; mere punt glass in still tablewine might be to fragile.

John Author Profile Page said:
February 25, 2009 5:29 PM

You may not "know" us, but my wife Kathryn and I have been wine club members for several years and consider Dry Creek Chardonnay our "house" white wine. And... we have been married to each other 39+ years. We celebrated our 39th anniversary with champagne after gliding over Cappadocia, Turkey, in a hot air balloon.

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
February 25, 2009 7:30 PM

I love hearing stories John. 39 years is remarkable in this day and age; I'm so glad that our Chardonnay is playing a role in another happy marriage!! By the way, we're hoping to put on a wine club cruise to Turkey in the not too distant future. It would great to have you join us.

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This page contains a single entry by Kim published on February 3, 2009 2:53 PM.

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