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Q&A: Extreme Weather and Champagne

Blame it on the rain … or the heat … or the snow

Waiting on your bubbles? Extreme weather may be at play. 


Whoever said “patience is a virtue” never had to wait for Champagne. You want those crisp, cold bubbles in your glass ASAP. Trust us — we want that, too! But at fatcork, we’re serious about delivering the very best Champagne from our cave to you. So, if you’re waiting for what feels like forever for the tracking details on your fatcork shipment to update, it is very likely that extreme weather is to blame. 

Weather is one of  THE most important factors in determining when we can ship your Champagne. But why? Let’s take a closer look.

What exactly is “too hot” or “too cold”?

Like all wine, Champagne can go bad if it's not handled properly. At an internal temperature of 80 degrees, it can begin to disintegrate. At 86 degrees, your Champagne actually starts to cook inside the bottle, causing the cork to push out and oxidation to occur. Oxidation will result in your bottle losing its signature fizz. 

On the flip side, if a bottle of Champagne drops to a temperature of 15-20 degrees, it will freeze and, eventually, turn into a Champagne slushy or a solid bottle-shaped ice cube. Even if the bottle doesn’t crack or pop its cork due to pressure from the expanding contents, frozen Champagne that has been thawed will lose both its effervescence and delicate flavors and aromas. It is still technically safe to drink, but it won’t taste as it should. 

How can you tell if your bubbles have been affected by weather conditions? 

A prematurely popping cork or a shattered bottle are obvious signs, but sometimes you’ll notice some more subtle clues. If the bottle is hot to the touch or if the cork has begun to lift out of the neck of the bottle, there’s a good chance your Champagne is cooked, and you should probably choose another bottle for dinner. 

The only foolproof way to know if your bubbles have been compromised, however, is to taste them. If your precious bottle has been affected by weather, you will know fairly quickly by a lack of bubbles, a change in color from what you’re used to (or what the tasting card tells you), a sour smell or bitter taste. If any or all of these signs present themselves, you can blame Mother Nature for manhandling your bubbly.

But… but… can my Champagne be salvaged?  

The short answer is: It depends. If you suspect your fatcork Champagne might have overheated and the cork is still intact, take the following steps: 

Step 1: Email us at info@fatcork.com, and let us know something’s not right. Include some pictures for reference. Alors, we will replace your bubbles!

Step 2: Lay down your bubbles in a cool, dark room for about a month, then take them out and chill for several hours before giving them a try. Cross your fingers; they could be a watered-down dud, or they could still be good. For some creative uses for your good Champagne gone bad, check out the bottom section of this fatcork blog post.

So, wait. Why are we talking about this again?  

Oh, yeah, that’s right — because at fatcork, we sleep, breathe and dream Champagne, and our hearts are set on making certain that the Champagne we send you arrives in its optimal condition. This means we’re always fixating on the weather, not only in your neck of the woods but all over the country, too. If there’s a question about the suitability of weather conditions in your locale, we will err on the side of caution every time. For each bottle that departs from our cave, Team fatcork accesses its shipping destination as well as the places it’ll travel through on the way.

If your bubbles do experience a delay, we will do our best to work with you to get them to you as soon as we can via a method that works for you. We can hold on to  your shipment until there’s a window of good weather in which to send it. Or, if you’re a club member, we can send your bottles with your next allocation. In some cases, we can use a 2-day express shipping option. When it’s safe enough to do so, we even have ice packs and insulation we can include in your package. 


Need your Champagne for a specific date? Plan well ahead, and let us know what you’re thinking. We’ll do our very best to make sure your bubbles arrive on time and in tip-top shape. 

Cheers!
Team fatcork