Ready to break out the bubbly? This sparkling wine is best served chilled, so you’ll need to do a little bit of prep work before the festivities. There’s no need to worry if you’ve left your champagne out on the counter, though—we’ve outlined several ways to chill your bubbly quickly and efficiently, so you can serve it it as soon as possible. If you have a little more time on your hands, feel free to chill your wine in an ice bucket or refrigerator. In just a few minutes, you’ll know exactly how to chill your champagne to its ideal temperature range of 45 to 65 °F (7 to 18 °C).
Quick Chill Methods
Chill the champagne in a salted ice-water bucket. Fill a small wine bucket with 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of ice and 2 cups (546 g) of salt. Then, place the champagne in the bucket and pour in enough water to cover most of the bottle. In about 10 minutes, your champagne will be chilled and ready to serve!
Stir the salted ice-water consistently to speed the cooling time down to 5 minutes.
The salt causes the ice to melt rapidly, creating cold water that chills your champagne quickly.
Serve the champagne with a couple of frozen grapes in each glass. Pour the champagne into a glass and add a couple of frozen grapes in lieu of ice cubes. The frozen grapes will bring down the champagne’s temperature without watering it down in the process.
You can also chill your wine quickly with metal wine stones, which you stick in the freezer and place in your glass of champagne (like ice cubes).
Slip the champagne into a wine sleeve for a quick chill. Stick your wine sleeve in the freezer for several hours so it’s nice and cold. Then, slip the sleeve over and around the body of your champagne bottle. With any luck, your bubbly will be chilled in a matter of minutes.
Freeze the champagne for 15 minutes if you’re in a pinch. Does champagne freeze? Yes—that’s why most wine enthusiasts don’t recommend sticking it in the freezer, since it starts to freeze between −5 and −9 °C (23 and 16 °F). Still, sticking your champagne in the freezer for a few minutes at a time (not a few hours!) can be an effective way to chill it if you’re in a pinch.
Don’t stick vintage champagnes in the freezer—they’re typically served at a warmer temperature than non-vintage champagne (around 45 to 50 °F (7 to 10 °C)).
It’s also not a good idea to stick pricier champagne in the freezer, since it’s a more expensive loss if the bubbly gets frozen.
The more alcoholic your champagne is, the longer it can last in the freezer. That’s why drinks with a super high alcohol volume (like vodka) stay completely unfrozen after a night in your freezer.
Chilling Champagne in an Ice Bucket
Place the champagne bottle in an ice-water bath. Fill up a wine bucket with ice and pour in enough water to fill the bucket one-third of the way. Submerge the champagne bottle into the ice bath so just the neck of the bottle sticks out.
Believe it or not, the water in the ice bath helps the champagne bottle cool down more quickly than a regular bucket of ice would.
Leave the champagne bottle in the bucket for about 15 minutes. Simply let the champagne bottle sit in the bucket. Then, set a timer on your phone or just keep an eye on the clock as you wait. The champagne is ready to serve once it’s between 45 and 65 °F (7 and 18 °C).
Pop the cork and serve. After 20 to 30 minutes have passed, pop the cork on the champagne bottle. Make sure to aim the tip of the bottle away from any expensive objects before popping the cork. To serve, tilt the bottle at a 45-degree angle, hold the champagne flute steady with your other hand, and fill it three-quarters of the way full with champagne.
Some wine enthusiasts suggest serving your champagne in a big wine glass. More open glasses make it easier to appreciate the champagne’s aroma.
Chilling Champagne in the Fridge
Place the champagne bottle in the fridge. Store the bottle upright in your refrigerator rather than placing it horizontally. Some wine enthusiasts believe that champagne tends to age faster when set on its side since the champagne is directly touching the cork.
Most refrigerators are set 40 °F (4 °C), which falls slightly below champagne’s ideal temperature range of 45 to 55 °F (7 to 13 °C). That’s okay, though—it’s not a big deal if your champagne is stored at a slightly cooler temperature.
Leave the bottle in the fridge for at least 3 hours. If you’re serving champagne at a party, this requires some planning ahead. Make sure to pop the champagne bottle in the fridge long before guests arrive.
Invest in a champagne fridge if you chill, serve, and enjoy champagne often. Wine fridges are set between 45 and 65 °F (7 and 18 °C), which is the ideal temperature range for keeping champagne cool but not too cold. For a perfectly chilled glass of bubbly, set your wine fridge to exactly 55 °F (13 °C).