Here’s the situation.
A close friend drops by with some exciting news. Maybe your friend has been offered a new job… or has recently become engaged. Either way, you gleefully hug your friend and announce, “this news calls for champagne!”
There’s just one problem. The bottle of champagne you have tucked away hasn’t been chilled. If the idea of room temperature champagne doesn’t appeal to you, you should check out our recommendations for the best wine fridges for champagne!
If you don’t have a wine fridge, you might decide to put the champagne in your freezer with every intention of retrieving it in 15 minutes or so… but what if you and your friend wind up going out to celebrate?
By the time you return home, the bottle of champagne is frozen. Now what do you do?
Can you drink champagne after it’s been frozen?
As long as the bottle remains intact, you can defrost your champagne and it will be safe to drink. The key is to thaw your champagne over time. I recommend setting it upright in your kitchen sink or fridge but do not apply any heat to the bottle to expedite the process.
Notice that I said your champagne would be safe to drink. I didn’t say it would taste great!
Does Champagne Freeze?
The US Food and Drug Administration recommends setting the temperature in your freezer to 0°F (-18° C).
Champagne will freeze at temperatures between 15 to 20°F (-6 to -9°C) but it’s not necessarily be ruined. Champagne left in the freezer will take on a slushy texture or, if left long enough, it will freeze solid. The key is to thaw frozen champagne gradually.
Once the champagne thaws it likely won’t have as much carbonation as it would if it had not been frozen. Also, previously frozen champagne might take on a different flavor. It may be noticeably lacking the subtle fresh fruit and floral notes that typically accompany choice bottles of bubbly.
Is It OK to Chill Champagne in the Freezer?
The freezer seems like it should cool things down faster than your refrigerator but is it OK to chill champagne in the freezer?
Most experts are emphatic that you should NEVER chill champagne in the freezer as the abrupt change in temperature could diminish the champagne’s effervescence and dull its flavor. If you’re particularly unlucky, the champagne could leak out or, in extreme circumstances, the bottle could explode!
Ironically, the freezer isn’t even the fastest way to chill a bottle of Champagne.
How Long Does Champagne Take to Get Cold in the Fridge?
Although your refrigerator still isn’t the fastest way to chill a bottle of champagne, it’s probably the most convenient… and there’s one in your kitchen!
The recommended serving temperature for champagne is 46 – 50°F (8 – 10°C). You can achieve this by placing your champagne in the refrigerator a minimum of 3 hours in advance of when you would like to drink it.
So… what if you don’t have that kind of time. You want to pop some bubbly in a matter of minutes not hours? Turns out, you gotta go old school.
How Do You Chill Champagne Quickly?
Sometimes the tried-and-true methods are truly the best.
The quickest way to chill champagne is in a bucket full of ice water. If you add a little salt to the ice water bath, your champagne will be ready to drink in is little as 10 – 15 minutes.
The salt lowers the freezing temperature of water, allowing the melting ice to super cool the champagne in very little time. You can read all about the scientific principles involved on any number of websites, if you’re curious.
The End Result
Whether you chill your champagne in an ice bucket or your fridge, the end result will be the same. You’ll have a bottle of champagne chilled to the perfect serving temperature and you’ll be able to celebrate in style with friends!
When it comes to chilling champagne in the freezer, it’s probably best to avoid that situation altogether.