So, you bought a bottle of champagne during the coldest time of the year, left it in your car overnight, and it’s a solid ice block. Or maybe you put it in your freezer to chill, and now you can’t get a single drink, let alone serve a party.
Don’t be embarrassed if this has happened to you: lots of people don’t realize that champagne can freeze.
Here’s what you need to know about this topic and how you can create a glass of chilled champagne without the risk of freezing.
Can You Freeze Champagne?
Absolutely! Wine is one of the faster freezing liquors available on the market. Champagne freezes much quicker than most wine, which typically freezes at -28 degrees Celsius or -18.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you store your wine properly.
That said, it doesn’t freeze as quickly as beer, which is mostly water and freezes at the water’s freezing point.
Thankfully, champagne’s freezing point is still low enough to let you chill it with ease: which we’ll discuss a bit later.
At What Temperature Will Champagne Freeze
Scientifically, champagne’s freezing point is about -9 to -5 degrees Celsius or 15 to 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
As you probably remember from elementary science class, water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
This means you could leave your champagne out overnight in average freezing temperatures and only get a mild slush. That said, freezing can affect your champagne’s quality.
What Happens When Champagne Freezes
When your champagne freezes, the liquid inside expands into a solid.
Depending on the champagne and its bottle, this may result in the bottle bursting or the cork popping.
Some champagne bottles won’t break, though you need to be careful when opening a frozen bottle. The pressure inside will be pretty intense, and when you pull the cork, you may experience something you never wanted to see: a slush fountain.
That’s right: all that frozen champagne is going to bubble up from the bottleneck and flow all over hands, floor, and table. Don’t be surprised if the slush rockets into the air after the cork and even stains your ceiling.
It’s best to wait for an hour or so until the champagne has melted a little. You can then open your bottle and give it a taste.
Prepare to be disappointed.
The Integrity And Flavor of Champagne Is Changed After it Freezes
As with any food, freezing your champagne changes its chemical compound.
It doesn’t change dramatically but will be enough to alter its overall texture and flavor.
There will be no carbonation, and the champagne will lack that trademark smell. It simply becomes almost tragically boring, losing all of the fun and excitement that you get from a great bottle of champagne.
Is Frozen Champagne Still Good to Consume?
Yes, you can drink frozen champagne, but who would want to do that?
As mentioned above, the taste will be quite bland. That said, if you don’t want to waste your champagne, you could still drink it.
We wouldn’t recommend serving it to guests because it will be flat and lack carbonation. But yes, you could technically drink frozen champagne if you wanted.
Related: Can Champagne go bad?
What Does Frozen Champagne Taste Like?
Freezing your champagne is basically akin to shaking up a bottle of soda and popping its top: you get a huge mess if you don’t wait, and the taste is all wrong.
Frozen champagne is safe to drink (you won’t get sick, don’t worry), but you’ll lose most of the kick and its aromas and flavors.
In addition, the fruitiness typically disappears along with the carbonation, leaving a very dull drink behind.
Don’t Throw Out Frozen Champagne: Uses For Frozen Champagne
So, you froze your bottle of champagne and can’t stand how it tastes.
We empathize but also encourage you to use your champagne in other fun ways! You can repurpose even the flattest champagne in a variety of different ways.
Here are a few that you may enjoy trying out yourself.
Freeze Champagne Ice Cubes
Pour your champagne into ice trays and use them to chill non-frozen champagne later.
The ice will take some time to melt and keep your drink very chill. As it melts, it will also add a bit more champagne taste to the fluid without overwhelming the flavor.
Marinade your meat or vegetables in frozen champagne overnight and then pan fry or bake to create a unique new meal.
The lower taste quality won’t matter so much when blended with food, helping to create a memorable dish that you may love.
Cook With It
If your recipe calls for any type of cooking alcohol, bust out your frozen champagne and use it.
Remember: cooking alcohol’s taste doesn’t have to be potent. Low-cost and even lower-quality drinks, like frozen champagne, work just fine here.
Sangria is typically mixed with so many other mixers that you could easily use your frozen champagne and barely notice the taste difference.
However, this step is a great one if you bought a higher-cost bottle of champagne and just can’t see using it as ice cubes.
Pour your champagne into a container and add some orange juice: instant Mimosas!
Next, add champagne ice cubes to your drink to chill it out further and make it even more delicious. Finally, make sure you add any other flavorings you want to keep your mimosas as tasty as possible.
Why Does Champagne Freeze, But Not Some Other Wines or Spirits?
Champagne can freeze while others do not because of its alcohol by volume content or ABV.
The more alcohol a liquor contains, the lower its freezing point.
For example, vodka has about 40% alcohol by volume content, meaning it freezes at about -27 degrees Fahrenheit or -32 degrees Celsius.
Most residential freezers don’t reach that coldness. However, champagne’s higher freezing temperature is possible in freezers, meaning it will freeze more quickly.
How To Quickly Chill a Bottle of Champagne
If you want to chill, but not freeze, a bottle of champagne, here are a few steps you can take. Most should be things that you can easily handle without any extra items, though you may want to invest in a wine fridge, as these wonderful appliances work very well for chilling this drink to create a slush.
However, you can also use these methods to create slush-free champagne with the perfect chill level for your enjoyment.
Ice Bucket With Salt: The Fastest Way To Chill Champagne
Do you want to chill down your champagne in 15-20 minutes? Then, mix some ice water and salt and place your bottle in the container.
The salt helps drive down the water’s temperature to a colder level and creates a chilled champagne bottle in no time.
Take your bottle out no later than 30 minutes after placing it in the bucket: any longer, and the champagne may be too cold to enjoy (if it’s too cold you miss some of the complex flavors of the wine).
Chill in The Freezer
Now, you can always chill your champagne in the freezer if you want, getting a serviceable temperature after about 15 minutes.
However, the wine won’t be slushy after 15 minutes. That said if you leave your champagne in the freezer for a few hours you may get a slush effect.
So be careful about how long you wait and check often. However, that amount of waiting may be frustrating and could even lead to freezing, depending on the champagne’s alcohol content.
So be careful with this technique.
A Wine Cooler
Wine coolers or fridges hold wine bottles perfectly and create an appropriate temperature for long-term storage.
Try to avoid decreasing the temperature too far below freezing to avoid creating a slush with your champagne.
You can also keep the temperature at an average fridge level to serve any chilled wines. This option is best for those who like their chilled wine cold and refreshing.
Add Frozen Grapes
Here’s an excellent way to chill your champagne without creating a slush or any freezing risk.
Put a bowl of grapes in the freezer overnight, and then put one or two in your champagne when you drink.
You’ll get an almost immediately colder drink and one that won’t get watered down by freezing ice. Instead, you’ll get an additional fruity taste that, as the grape thaws, you can munch on to improve your wine taste.
Getting a glass of great champagne chilled will take a careful approach and a good understanding of the techniques mentioned above.
Please pay close attention to your champagne, check it regularly, and remove it before it freezes.
Please don’t make the mistake of forgetting about it: set the alarm to go off every 30 minutes to alert you to check your champagne and ensure that it hasn’t frozen.