Champagne is a delicate and sensitive wine that will spoil if it is poorly stored. If you are going to keep champagne for more than two months it is best to store it in total darkness, undisturbed, and at a constant temperature. Nonvintage champagne benefits from six to eight months storage – it tastes richer and creamier. Always keep the bottles lying on their side, so that the cork stays wet at all times, otherwise it will dry out and shrink. Don’t worry if you haven’t got a cellar for short-term storage; under the bed in the spare room where the heating is turned off, or in a cupboard that is seldom opened will be fine. What is important is maintaining a steady temperature with little fluctuation. For long-term storage of one year or more, a cellar or basement is essential.