Unopened Bottle , 10 Years Old, Still Drinkable?

I was given a boxed bottle of Moet Chandon Brut Imperial, for a birthday and have been keeping it in my wardrobe for a special occasion. Serial number on the label is: 3 185370 000335. It is about 10 years old, possibly more. I would like to use it now. Will it be alright?. I have been keeping it upright and dark, but not so cool as in a cellar. Thank you, regards Margaret Kent

Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

I gather you have the non-vintage version of the Brut Imperial, which a few years ago became the successor to this company's popular White Star. When the company made that change, they also altered the profile by making the Champagne slightly drier in taste (the final sweetness of Champagne is determined by the amount of sugar syrup added just before the final corking). There is also a vintage version now named Grand Vintage. As a rule, standard Champagne without a vintage is intended to be consumed on release; very few benefit from further aging. As always with wine, this depends in part on individual taste preferences. Champagne is particularly sensitive to storage conditions and - if cellared - should be in ideally cool, stable temperatures. As to whether sparkling wine, due to the trapped carbon dioxide, can be stored upright or should be laid down on its side like other wines, that is another point of some debate. Personally, I wouldn't overthink the situation. Chill the bottle and enjoy it sooner rather than later.

About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

Visit Roger Bohmrich MW's web site