An interesting question about champagne storage and dry corks

A man told me on Saturday that he had been given a bottle of Dom Perignon about 7 years ago and that it had been sitting upright in his house since then in a relative cool spot. He asked me if it was any good or whether he should use it to clean his paint brushes. I told him to chill it, open it, and find out, because anything else was a guess. BUT it got me to thinking about pressure and permeability. If the gas pressure between the champagne and the bottom of the cork due to the effervescence is greater than 1 ATM, does that mean that the likelihood of spoilage due to oxygen getting into the bottle from outside air is reduced for bubblies? Does a dry cork cause less of a problem than with a still wine?

I don’t know, but I am not convinced there would be any problem standing up a bottle of still wine for seven years in terms of the cork drying out.

Jay, I would think that the CO2 coming out will block some of the O2 from going in, and thus retard spoilage. Whether it can be a significant effect I have no idea. But the CO2 escaping would also mean that the bubbly would lose its bubbliness…

Jay, With ~6bar pressure and a cork that starts at ~31mm and is compressed to fit a 16mm bottle there is not much that happens with gas exchange but there is some O2 that does transfer in as well as CO2 that comes out. That being said, we have bottles that have been in passive storage in our library (~60F) for over 20 years that have stood up extemely well. I would imagine that your friends bottle will be as fine as the storage conditions which it was subjected to. Best, Bob