Yes, champagne does freeze, just like other types of wine and alcoholic drinks left in the freezer for a prolonged period. While it isn’t recommended to freeze champagne, it could be because you intended to chill it in the freezer but forgot about it till the next day.
Champagne freezes at about 15 – 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 to -6 degrees Celsius). With most sparkling wine and champagne having about 70 – 75% water content, it’s a fast-freezing liquor. Freezing champagne either turns it slushy, or it becomes a solid block.
If you’re wondering whether a frozen bottle of champagne makes a good drink and what are the other ways to chill champagne, let’s get on with it.
Does Champagne Freeze?
Most household freezers are set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius) for food safety. If a champagne bottle is left too long in a standard freezer, even overnight, it freezes, like most wines or alcoholic drinks.
Champagne freezes at a temperature of 15 – 20 degrees Fahrenheit. You can freeze champagne, but it isn’t recommended to do so. It turns to a slushy texture or a hard block in the freezer.
If not frozen too long, tiny ice crystals form in the drink that are tartaric acid crystals, which are safe to consume.
Does Freezing Champagne Ruin It?
When you freeze champagne, the liquid turns solid and expands. This could lead to bursting or cracking of the bottle or popping of the cork, and freezing champagne modifies the chemical compound enough to change its flavor and texture.
Remember, you must never open a frozen bottle of champagne right away; you’ll be treated to an explosive fountain of champagne slush.
Frozen Champagne: Is It Still Good to Drink?
While you could consume frozen champagne, you’ll notice that the quality of the sparkling wine is affected. The carbonation also will have significantly reduced.
As long as the outer packaging or the bottle hasn’t cracked, you could drink frozen or thawed champagne, even though it won’t taste great.
Frozen Champagne – Taste
Typically, champagne must be served at around 40 – 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s any colder, it gets difficult to taste its flavors. While popping it in the freezer for 15 minutes gets it to the right temperature, any longer, and you’ll end up with frozen champagne slush.
Frozen champagne, once thawed, will taste bland and lack the fizz; neither will it have the same trademark smell. Without its rich aromas and complex flavors, it’s equivalent to drinking watered-down spirits.
Do Frozen Champagne Bottles Explode?
Yes, a frozen champagne bottle could explode. The pressure inside a full bottle of champagne, unfrozen, is about twice the pressure in a regular car tire.
When frozen, additional pressure gets added to the water content of the champagne, causing it to expand. The total pressure can create a force that can shatter the bottle and explode with considerable force.
The more likely thing to happen is the cap will get compromised, resulting in liquid leaking out with the increased pressure inside.
How to Thaw Frozen Champagne
Remove the frozen bottle of champagne from the freezer and keep it upright to ensure no liquid leaks in case the cork is compromised.
If you’re not in a hurry to open up the bottle, leaving it in the fridge to thaw would be better.
You must not open a frozen bottle right out of the freezer or even apply any heat to it. A sudden change in temperature from freezing point messes with the original flavor profile of the champagne and brings in “cooked” notes into it.
Not to mention that a quick change in temperature is likely to cause the bottle to explode.
Ways to Chill Champagne Fast
Cool champagne tastes perfect, with all its flavor profiles and fizz intact. Rather than freezing champagne, here are some alternatives to quickly chill your bottle of bubbly:
Quick Chill Champagne In the Freezer
This is the most obvious way to chill champagne fast. Provided you don’t leave it in the freezer for long, you will get the perfect chill and taste in just 15 minutes.
Chilled this way, the sparkling wine won’t turn slushy, nor will there be any loss of fizz or flavor with just 15 minutes in the freezer.
Tip: When placing a bottle of champagne in the freezer to chill it fast, it’s always a good idea to set a timer, so you don’t forget about it.
Chill Champagne in A Saltwater Ice Bath
This is the fastest way to chill sparkling wine; cold water chills champagne bottles much faster than cold air. Keep the bottle in salted ice water for about 10 minutes; it’s sufficient to chill a 750 mL bottle of champagne.
The salt drives the water’s temperature down faster, creating a chilled bottle quicker. Don’t forget to take out the bottle within 30 minutes; else, it may be too cold and lose some of its complex flavors.
Also, it will speed up the process further if you gently spin the bottle of champagne every couple of minutes while it’s in the ice water bath.
Keep Champagne in The Fridge For Long-Term Cool Storage
Use a wine cooler or fridge to create the right temperature for your champagne bottles for prolonged storage. Avoid lowering the temperature too close to the freezing point; otherwise, your champagne will turn into slush.
Add Frozen Grapes To Chill Your Champagne
A sure-fire way to perfectly chill your champagne without freezing it or turning it into slush is by using frozen grapes.
Freeze a bowl of grapes overnight. Then, when you serve your champagne, place a grape or two in the glass. What you end up with is a perfectly chilled drink that is not watered down by ice cubes.
Once the grapes thaw in your drink, you can munch on them for an improved, fruity taste that goes great with your champagne.
Uses For Frozen Champagne
What if you accidentally froze your champagne or left it out, causing it to go flat? Is it useless now? Don’t worry, even the flattest of champagne has a purpose:
- Freezing champagne ice cubes: Pour leftover champagne into ice cube trays and add them to non-frozen champagne to chill it.
- Making mimosas: Create instant mimosas by mixing champagne and orange juice in a container. Then, add the champagne ice cubes for a chilled drink with more flavor.
- Making sangrias: With sangrias being prepared with so many mixers, adding previously frozen champagne won’t create a major difference in taste.
- Cooking with it: For recipes requiring cooking alcohol, you can use leftover or previously frozen champagne.
- Marinading food: Use thawed champagne to marinade meat or vegetables overnight. Bake or pan fry these for a unique tasting meal.
Does Champagne Freeze – Conclusion
‘Does champagne freeze?’ Yes, it does. However, it isn’t the recommended way to chill a bottle of champagne. If you keep your bottle in the freezer as a quick way of chilling, don’t forget to take it out sooner rather than later.