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Most kinds of alcohol require different ways of being stored. Depending on if the alcohol is bubbly, flat, best served cold, or room temperature, all of these factors are critical to consider in the storage of your alcohol. Storing prosecco the right way will only yield great results and make for a much better-tasting product.
If you are buying prosecco and storing it in your home, it is ideal to keep it stored upright. You’ll want to keep it in a cool and dark spot, between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius is recommended. Keeping away from any source of light or heat will ensure your prosecco stays at its best until you are ready to drink it.
Keep in mind that depending on your bottle, it will have a different shelf life as well. In this article, we will talk about storage both for bottles you have already opened, and those that are unopened, shelf life, and how to identify if and when your bottle has passed the prime of its life.
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Types of Prosecco
When you break down the types of prosecco, you can generally split them into three categories, sparkling prosecco, semi-sparkling, and still. Sparking is often referred to as spumante, semi-sparkling as frizzante, and still as Tranquillo when you’re looking at the bottles.
Sparkling prosecco has a long-lasting perlage and is generally what people think of when they think of prosecco. Sparkling is the most iconic and popular and is further broken down into subcategories.
These are the descriptions you will generally see on your label when you buy prosecco and are based on the residual sugar that is contained in the wine.
- Brut is a prosecco that has a residual sugar level that is less than 12 g/l.
- Extra dry is when the sugar content is variable between around 12 and 17 g/l.
- Dry is prosecco with a sugar content between 17 and 32 g/l.
- Demi-sec is when the sugar level varies between around 32 and 50 g/l.
If you are shopping for prosecco and see these words on the labels and are unsure which you will like best, just remember to consider the sugar content you are looking for in your beverage. If you go for a semi-sparkling prosecco keep in mind that it will be lighter and have a less lingering perlage.
Unlike the sparkling and semi-sparkling, if you buy a still prosecco it is going to be a still wine, therefore it will have no perlage.
All prosecco’s are made from a minimum of 85% of grapes of the Glera variety combined with a maximum of 15% of Verdiso, Bianchetta, Perera, Glera Lunga, Chardonnay, and Pinot grape varieties.
Many confuse prosecco with champagne, keep in mind that although these are both sparkling, they need to be treated differently when being stored as champagne has a longer shelf life both before and after opening than prosecco does.
If you keep your prosecco under the same guidelines as your champagne, you will likely have some prosecco bottles going bad.
Video: Prosecco, Cava, Champagne & Other Sparkling Wines Explained
Storage Before Opening
Storing your bottle in an environment that is dark and cool will keep the taste and texture consistent over the time you’re storing the bottle. It is common that if the bottle is kept in the refrigerator that it will be altered by the vibrations of the refrigerator while it is running.
Additionally, they will be increasingly exposed to light which will alter flavor profile. Time in the refrigerator can not only sometimes wedge the cork out a bit but can also decrease the amount of carbonation in the bottle as it is shaken up a little bit, which can impact the taste of your prosecco by the time you get around to opening and serving.
That is why it is better to simply store the prosecco in a cold environment that is not refrigerated. Before serving, you will want to drop the temperature of the bottle down to between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius.
The precise temperature of your bottle will be dependent on the specific prosecco you are serving; however, generally speaking, the bottle will only need to be chilled directly before serving to ensure it is not too warm to drink.
Storage After Opening
Storing a bottle of prosecco after it’s been opened is a common problem that many people face as it can be challenging to finish an entire bottle in one sitting; however, many people choose to throw out leftovers because they do not know how to properly store it so that it will still be good when you’re able to get back to it.
The way you store your prosecco is especially important if you are storing sparkling prosecco. If you do not store it well or for too long, you will lose all your bubbles at which point your prosecco will not have the proper taste that it should.
There are a few tips and tricks to storing any bubbly beverage for a few days to help maintain the bubbly nature of your drink. Once you pop the cork, most wines go bad within a day or so. But a Coravin Wine Preservation system (available for a great price on Amazon) can extend the life of your opened wine for weeks or even months. It is awesome.
You should check it out and see if it will fit into your lifestyle.
For a complete guide to storing prosecco after opening, please check out this helpful article I wrote.
Keeping your Prosecco Fresh
First, many have success by dangling a metal spoon in the bottle. Dangling the spoon in the mouth of the bottle before placing it in the refrigerator keeps the neck of the bottle colder than it normally would. This creates an air plug above the champagne which can help prevent the gases in the bottle from rising quickly.
Second, keeping the bottle cold will help to maintain bubbles in the prosecco. Therefore, you need to keep the bottle ice cold until you are ready to drink it again.
This slows the rising of the gases out of the bottle and losing carbonation. Keep in mind the more carbonation that is lost, the sweeter your prosecco will get.
The way you close off your bottle will be critical in managing how much carbonation you lose from your bottle. One way that has been seen to be effective is using a plastic wrap covering secured with a rubber band, then placing the bottle in the refrigerator. However, it is even better if you can use an airtight cork.
Hermetic corks can be bought at most grocery stores and will pretty much reseal the bottle off. The only risk you have here is that if the gasses build up too much, in combination with the vibrations of the refrigerator the cork is at risk to go flying off the bottle in the refrigerator.
Finally, the higher the quality prosecco you buy, the better it will last in the refrigerator after being opened. The bubbles in carbonated beverages attach to microscopic specks of materials in the bottle.
The higher quality of the prosecco, the fewer specks it will have and therefore the bubbles will be less likely to escape the bottle.
After you have chosen your preferred method of keeping your bubbles in, regardless the prosecco should be placed in the refrigerator until you are ready to drink the rest of the bottle.
It is crucial to keep the bottle as cold as possible and drink it as soon after opening as possible as well. The longer it is in the refrigerator, the more likely it is to lose bubbles and flavor.
If you are storing a still prosecco, the same recommendations still apply. Although it is easier because you do not need to retain the carbonation, you will still want to keep the bottle as cold as possible until you are ready to drink it again and it is recommended to seal the bottle off.
Prosecco Shelf Life
The shelf life of your prosecco while being dependent on quality, is generally going to be about two years before it is likely to lose some of its taste and carbonation.
After about two years of sitting it will start losing quality and you will notice in the taste that it is just not quite as good as it could have been.
Prosecco should generally be drunk while it is still pretty young. We recommend drinking your prosecco within the first year of having it.
This will guarantee that your prosecco is fresh and fruity tasting. If you do not open your bottle within the first two years your flavor might be compromised.
Once you have opened your bottle of prosecco, it is recommended to drink the remaining of your bottle within three days. Prosecco has one of the shortest lifespans once opened out of all types of wines and will go bad fairly quickly if you hold onto it.
Keep in mind that the lifespan of your prosecco will be cut significantly if you keep your prosecco in extreme heat, humidity, or light.
If you open your prosecco and it has turned into a yellow or brownish yellow color it has likely gone bad due to heat exposure. This will also have a musty smell and very little carbonation left in the bottle.
These are the most tell-tale signs of your prosecco going bad. Luckily, you can avoid all of this by simply keeping your bottle in a dark and cold location and avoiding keeping it unopened for more than two years.
Optimal Storage Space
If you have a wine cellar or a certain room in the house where you generally keep your wine, be sure this fits the needs of your prosecco if that is where you are choosing to store it.
If your wine cellar is brightly lit, you should reconsider keeping your prosecco in the cellar, even though it is likely temperature controlled.
If you are keeping your prosecco in the refrigerator, you should drink it fairly quickly as it is then exposed to a lot of light infiltration as well as potentially loosening the seal of the cork due to the constant motion and vibration of the refrigerator. Depending on where you live, storing your prosecco in the garage may be a great option.
In the garage, it generally stays darker and cooler than it does in your home. Another great option is to store it in your basement, again this is very dependent on where you live.
If you live in a very hot climate, your basement or garage may get very hot throughout the day, especially during the summer months.
Take a look at where you normally store your alcohol, and where the coolest and darkest spot in your house is located, and then decide where to keep your prosecco before you can drink it. Keep in mind that you should avoid keeping it in whatever spot you have chosen for too long a period.
This is especially important if you are buying lower quality prosecco as it will have an even shorter shelf life but try to remember to drink your prosecco within a year of its sell-by date. If you try to make it a rule to drink each bottle within a year of buying them, you will ensure you only drink fresh and fruity prosecco in the prime of its life.
Optimal Storage Methods
Once you have opened your bottle, try to finish it within three days for maximum freshness and carbonation. If you keep it much longer than three days after opening, you will find that you will start losing all your carbonation and your prosecco will change the way it tastes.
You are likely to find that there is an increase in sugar to taste in the prosecco and you will have far less carbonation in the bottle as well.
This is going to be extremely noticeable, and although many people prefer prosecco once it has sat and become sweeter and less bubbly, this is something to be aware of before you store it so that your preference is maintained.
This will also be especially noticeable depending on how you are serving your prosecco. If you are making cocktails with it you may be able to add additional soda water for bubbly effect and maintain the flavor you are looking for even if your prosecco has been sitting for a few days, whereas if you are drinking it straight you are likely to be unhappy with the taste after three days of sitting.
The primary way to ensure your prosecco stays optimal for as long as possible, be sure you are keeping it as cold as possible in your refrigerator.
After you are done pouring, place it immediately back in the refrigerator to reduce the amount of gas that is released while it is sitting out in your home.
By continuously keeping it cold, you will slow down the release of gas and therefore keep your carbonation for longer. Try different methods of covering your prosecco to store to find what you think works best for you as many people report different results depending on the methods used to store opened bottles.
The spoon method mentioned above is highly recommended, although some users have reported that it did not help enough.
This is a great method to try out and if it does not work out, try a different method next time around. We would recommend covering the opening in some way so that you minimize the amount of gas you are releasing from the bottle.
Whether you are trying the covering with plastic and a rubber band or a vacuum-sealed cork, you may find differing results.
If you use a sealable cork, you can pump the air out of the bottle which can reduce oxidation of the prosecco. These corks are easy to find at almost all grocery stores and are fairly well priced.
If you are using the plastic method instead, you may find that you have good results from that as well! Keep in mind that not all of these methods will meet your liking every time you store an open bottle. Therefore, try out each method until you find what works best for you when storing your opened bottle of prosecco.
Lastly, remember the lifespan of your beverage. If you are used to storing champagne or still wine, remember that prosecco has a significantly shorter lifespan than your varieties of champagne and wine. Prosecco has the shortest lifespan on the wines and should not exceed two years in storage and three days after opening.
As long as you keep in mind the lifespan, you will generally have good luck with storing your prosecco as this is the most important guideline to follow.
If you store it for too long of a period, the environment it has been kept in will not matter as much as it will still be too overaged to drink.
Prosecco does not need to age in the same way that other fermented drinks do and should be drunk younger. By storing your prosecco most optimally you will ensure you are not wasting money by having to throw away bottles that have gone bad due to improper storage. Prosecco can be very easily thrown off with light and heat and needs careful consideration for storage.