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Don’t freeze Champagne!

Champagne in freezer

Question from Heath: Can I freeze Champagne?

In a nut shell: No way man! NEVER freeze champagne and/or sparkling wine, you crazy cat you!

In a clam shell: Champagne and sparkling wine is best served chilled but don’t go putting it in the freezer to speed up the cooling process! Why?

  1. Sparkling wine is a delicate thing full of carbon dioxide (aka bubbles). Changing the temperature of sparkling wine quickly will have you losing half the bottle when you pop the top. I’m no scientist but I can tell you that carbon dioxide (bubbles) behave badly when their temperature changes quickly. Putting a bottle that’s room temperature in the freezer for five minutes before serving it will mess with the bubbles and make them want to bolt from the bottle meaning that when you pop the cork all those bubbles will flee rapidly and you’ll have half the bottle on the floor (tragedy)! Chilling it slowly keeps those bubbles happy and well behaved when you pop the top.
  2. If you forget about the bottle (which, let’s face it, happens more often than not) the sparkling will freeze and expand, either cracking the bottle or forcing the cork out. You’ll lose the wine AND you’ll have to spend the next hour cleaning out your freezer.

So how should you chill sparkling quickly?

Unfortunately there is no super quick way but the good news is you’ll only have to wait 30-45 minutes before you can take a sip. The quickest way to chill your bubbles safely is to pop the bottle in a metal (good temperature conductor) bucket with ice and water. If you have a little more time (say 2-3 hours) you can pop it in the fridge but don’t store your wine there for days as it prefers to live in the cellar where the temperature is consistent and stable. Such a fussy thing, isn’t it?!?

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