Science of Champagne shipping

Recently wondered about the impact of fall/winter-shipping to those Champagne bottles.

  1. does it do the Champagne any harm if shipped at temperatures between 0-5°C (30-40°F)
  2. is there any problem if the Champagne gets shaken too much when in cargo (eg does the CO2 dissolve)

As I understand what I read in the web all 2 above points are fine with the Champagne, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.

no issues w either concern.

Agreed, no problems at all.

Zero issues.

The world’s expert on champagne physics is this guy:

I have heard him lecture and he takes champagne to scientific places that are insane. Look at some of his publications in the link above:

He scientifically proved that the best glass for champagne is the basic white wine glass, not flute

1 Like

As others have said, no worries that the champagne might be damaged. That said, many of us feel that champagne in particular benefits from a rest after shipping. You can do with that information what you will.

That is a ludicrous statement.

1 Like

This is always an interesting question. We recently had a tasting where we drank through the top 2002s (except for CDC) and I’d flew with the Krug that day and carried it on an uber, whereas other people had sent their bottles (02 salon, 02 Cristal LR, and 02 Dom P2) weeks in advance. Most people felt that the Krug was open earlier than any of the others and IMO was the best, and cristal LR and salon took hours (5+) to really open up, some people thought it was the best but I didn’t, not sure. I’d always heard people’s concerns were that the champagne were more shut down and less vibrant immediately after travel but this certainly wasn’t the case for us.

I really don’t want to get into yet another debate about whether travel shock is real or not (yes, I know I opened the door). I only wanted to let the OP know that some people think it’s something to consider, whereas the two issues he mentioned are very likely not.

Hardly scientific unless someone shipped Krug ahead and you were tasting the FedEx Krug vs the UberKrug.

To OP’s question, the CO2 should be maximally absorbed at the coldest liquid temperatures, which is a good thing (so less pressure).

Of course it’s not scientific but feel free to do a RCT on it. A MW did do that, but people still don’t believe the results so not sure it matters even if one had done it.

We can have and will have never ending debate on “travel shock.” Nobody is going to be convinced that their position is wrong.

That said, I took the OP’s inquiry to be more about permanent, observable negative consequences, rather than any short term effects.

It was. I added the other point thinking it might be of interest and not too far off topic. But now I’m sorry I did. Sigh…

No good deed goes unpunished. champagne.gif

Yes because it fundamentally changes your relationship with wine. If you think wine is temporarily degraded by travel you’re only going to drink at home (or in the same city, if you think it’s only degraded by long distance travel) or buy from wine lists.m

Regarding the travel thing it seems to me far more likely the people and their palates are changed by travel, but w/e.

I wasn’t asking your opinion. I guess you couldn’t tell.

I couldn’t care less if you were asking my opinion or not. I guess you couldn’t tell.

Well since you don’t care…here it is. :wink:

Not everybody travels with Grand Cru Burgundy and a spare pallet of Cristal. Some of us peasants take along more durable wines on trips, or sometimes (gasp and clutch pearls!) buy something at a good, local shop nearer our destination.

I think both things can be true, specifically with air travel. I believe that long haul air travel affects the way I smell and taste food and beverages for 24 hrs or so and affects Champagne and sparkling wines for longer (weeks/months) in ways that still wines aren’t affected. Can I scientifically prove either? No, but I have enough anecdotal experience (50+ overnight flights to Europe, 100+ trans-continental) to be comfortable with my conclusions and adapt my behavior accordingly. YMMV.

1 Like

Guys, calm down champagne.gif

Just received my Salon 2012 Mags and they were delivered freezing cold, my guess is 36F.
Was a bit worried if they could have suffered from being transported at low temperatures combined with having being on the road for 7 days with DHL.
Good thing is, that temperatures here are currently between 36 and 55, so no worries refarding heat damage.
Put them in my cellar in their OWC which kind of insulated or at least moderates temperature variations while being transported.
Travel shock doesn’t apply to my bottles since these won’t be opened for some years.