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Does Champagne Freeze & Will It Explode If Frozen? (2022)

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Lydia Martin

You might have heard stories that a frozen bottle of Champagne could explode. 

We often want to fast-forward chilling our beverages, so we put them in a standard freezer. But does Champagne freeze, and if so, will it ruin the taste? If you want to find out, read on.

The Cold Truth About Freezing Champagne

Champagne on desk with wine glass

Champagne will freeze when it reaches a temperature of 15°F to 20°F. Most sparkling wine and Champagne have an average of 70-75% water content. And it’s one of the fast-freezing liquors out there.

It won’t be the same as when it is thawed out because freezing it might ruin the bubbly profile. Freezing Champagne may also ruin its taste and make it boring and flat.

For cooling or chilling Champagne, it’s not necessary to use a freezer. 

Does It Really Freeze? 

Does It Really Freeze? 

Yes, Champagnes freeze when left for unnecessary periods and forgotten in a home freezer. Many could think of it as speeding up the process. But waiting to chill Champagne before a big occasion may feel like you’re waiting forever. 

It is said that it’s great to serve Champagne or wine chilled. But you might want to check up on it in the freezer constantly so it won’t freeze up.

Champagne’s Freezing Point 

A Champagne’s freezing point is between 15 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-9°C to -6°C). Most Champagnes and wines contain 70% water, so they will undoubtedly freeze. 

This drink takes at least a couple of hours for sparkling wines to start getting hard and slushy, but you still don’t want to leave your Champagne in the freezer for that long. 

Like all ice made from water, it expands and increases a little when it reaches its freezing point. And this could give pressure on the bottle when Champagne freezes. 

What Happens When It’s Frozen? 

May Become Slushy/Ice Crystals 

A Bucket of Champagne on table

For the most part, frozen Champagnes will become slushy if you forget them in a freezer. In cold temperatures, the pressure of the water content in the Champagne itself expands. 

So, some ice crystals could fall out of the bottle of Champagne.

Rock-Hard (Like Ice)

The extreme cold can make Champagne a piece of hard-rock or solid block. You’re lucky if your bottle is intact and the cork remains in the bottle. 

But remember that there’s a lot of pressure inside the drink. Wrong handling may result in the bottle bursting or the cork popping in the worst scenario.

Will It Explode?

Will It Explode?

Yes, Champagne bottles could explode for two possible reasons. One, the liquid will expand on freezing. Expanding can cause the bottle to explode and break. 

Second, the pressure will be pretty high and can prompt the cork or even the bottle to explode. So, it would be best to be careful when handling frozen Champagne.

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How Long Will It Freeze?

It will need about 20 minutes to get a snowy and Champagne slush consistency. Having frozen Champagne will depend on the freezer temperature.

Most household freezers set a temperature of 0 °F or lower for optimal food safety and to freeze a bottle of Champagne.

However, it is not advised to leave this drink overnight. Leaving your Champagne in the kitchen freezer overnight might ruin the taste quality. And worse, it can cause it to explode [1]. 

You can chill a bottle of Champagne, but freezing it isn’t recommended. 

Why Do Champagnes Freeze? 

Why Do Champagnes Freeze? 

One reason why Champagnes freeze is because of its alcohol component or ABV. The alcohol percentage in most wine bottles and Champagnes is lower, around 11-14% ABV, compared to other alcoholic drinks like vodka with 40% ABV. 

The lower the alcohol content, the faster it can freeze. To chill Champagne fast, you can submerge it in an ice bucket. Adding water and salt is the best way to chill it [2]. 

Does It Get Ruined?

Yes, Champagne does get ruined when frozen. It might become a slushy texture or a hard block when it’s forgotten in the freezer. When this happens, you’ll possibly notice some crystals. These are tartaric acid crystals that are still safe to consume.

As a sparkling beverage, it might also ruin the bubbly profile and its delicate notes when it’s cold. The notes in the wine might become oxidized and bitter, the floral notes fade, and the fresh fruit aroma could disappear.

How It Tastes When Thawed

How It Tastes When Thawed

Frozen or thawed Champagne won’t be fizzy and will taste bland. It can be the first thing you’ll notice when you taste it since its carbonation will be reduced or gone. 

Also, it won’t have the same trademark smell when it is thawed. Warming Champagne after being thawed could make the Champagne taste more alcoholic and less fruity. 

Can You Store Champagne In The Freezer?

Can You Store Champagne In The Freezer?

Opened

You can still store Champagne after opening. So, don’t worry if you can’t finish the entire bottle of Champagne in one night. 

You can freeze the leftover Champagne in ice cube trays for separate blocks of small portions. Keep it in a plastic zipper bag and use it for future drinks and cooking. 

You can add the frozen Champagne ice cubes to a Bellini or a Mimosa. It is also great for recipes that require low, slow cooking, like french onion soup. 

Unopened

Unopened

It is not recommended to store an unopened bottle of Champagne in a household freezer as this will kill the foam once it freezes. Also, freezing it will not help release its natural aromas and complex flavors.

However, you can perhaps store it for a few minutes to chill Champagne before serving.

What Temperature Should You Store It?

It would be best to store Champagne at a constant ambient temperature of around 50 °F. In fact, it is one of the golden rules in storing Champagne.

You can store it in a dark, cool, and draft-free environment so it can be well-preserved for several years. 

Storing it in direct sunlight can affect the drink’s temperature and compromise your wine taste.

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How Do You Open A Frozen Champagne?

How Do You Open A Frozen Champagne?

You can open frozen Champagne after defrosting it. Do not open it immediately after removing the cold Champagne from the freezer. Ensure that the cork is facing away from your face and place it vertically.

The pressure in the bottle could be at its peak so let time do its job. Remember not to use heat to defrost the bottle because the extreme, sudden change in temperature could destroy the taste.

FAQs

Should you store Champagne in the fridge?

No. Storing Champagne in the refrigerator should be avoided unless you are chilling or cooling it to serve. If you’re not ready to open it, you should keep your Champagne in a cool room with low light and a constant temperature.

How do you thaw a frozen Champagne?

The fastest technique to thaw a bottle of Champagne is to take it out of the freezer. Put it straight or vertically where the cork seal is not compromised, and leave it alone for a couple of minutes. 

In Summary 

Champagne freezes if left in the freezer for a long period, just as most wines do.

And believe us, you don’t want it frozen because as wine expands, it tends to explode. If you want to serve cold Champagne, just quickly chill a bottle in an ice bucket with ice cubes, cold water, and salt. 

References:

  1. https://www.reference.com/science/temperature-champagne-freeze-55f7ca1444db1b26 
  2. https://www.winespectator.com/articles/what-happens-when-champagne-freezes-56499

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