An Easy Guide For Tasting Champagne
8th June 2020
Whether you are tasting Champagne or Sparkling Wine, you do it the same way.
In this article I focus on Champagne, to help pick out the aromas and flavours in your glass.
It is easy to get the technique down, it just takes time to be able to identify the aromas and flavours, the more you taste and smell, the more of an expert you will get at enjoying a Glass of Bubbly.
1) Picking Your Bottle of Champagne
It does not matter which bottle of Champagne you pick, but if you want a little bit of knowledge about what to expect from the bottle then here is a little help.
Below is a chart detailing the level of sweetness you can expect from your bottle of Champagne, each bottle will have one of these on its label, starting from Brut Nature = No added sugar, all the way up to Doux = More than 50 grams of sugar.
These words will help you with figuring out if the Champagne is going to be sweet or dry, but it doesn’t tell you what sort of experience you will have.
If you decide to pick one of our award winning Champagnes then depending on what category they won their medal in, it will help you to determine what sort of sensation you will experience, such as ‘Oaky & Toasty’ and ‘Hint of Spice’, you can check out the award winners here.
2) Opening Your Bottle of Champagne
Now that you have your bottle of Champagne, you will need to chill the bottle down, you can put your bottle in the fridge for 2 hours to chill or in an ice buck, half filled with ice and water for 30 minutes.
If you want to let the cork fly, then follow the instructions above, except for number 6, you will hear a satisfying pop, just make sure that you don’t aim the cork towards anyone or anything that could be easily breakable and make sure that you are holding on to the bottle properly.
There are the 3 ways you can open a bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine.
Chilling your bottle will greatly decrease the chances of your Champagne or Sparkling Wine bubbling over or even spraying everywhere, but just because you chill your bottle does not mean that it won’t still happen, White Sparkling Wine will not stain, but a Red Sparkling Wine will if you don’t clean up straight away, so I would avoid opening a bottle of Red Sparkling Wine around anything white.
3) How To Pour A Glass of Champagne
4) How To Discover What Is In Your Glass
There are three ways to experience your Glass of Bubbly, sight, smell & taste, with each more important than the last.
Sight – When looking at a Glass of Bubbly, you look at the bubbles and the colour of the wine.
Smell – Some people will skip this sensation and just go for the first sip, but by skipping this, you miss out on a very memorable sensation and you won’t get the whole experience.
Some Sparkling Wines and Champagnes will take some time to open up and some will change throughout its lifetime in your glass, so take some time and see what aromas you can pick out.
Taste – This is the most enjoyable and experienced part of Champagne, you may see wine professionals swirl the wine around in their mouths making all sorts of sounds by letting the air in to oxidise the wine, but you don’t need to do this to experience Champagne or Sparkling Wine flavours, as long as your taste buds work, you will be able to taste the flavours as you drink, with more flavours coming to you as you do so.
Here is a list of some common Aromas & Flavours that you will experience in a glass of Champagne to help you in case you get stuck when picking them out.
- Burnt Toast
- Yellow Fruits
- Yellow Stone Fruits
- Burnt Oak
- Zesty – Lemon or Lime
This is a simple and easy guide to follow for newcomers into the wine industry and people who just want to get a little more out of their bottle of Champagne to follow and hopefully learn something new.
You can use this guide when tasting any Sparkling Wine, from Prosecco to Cava, English or Indian, no matter where your bottle is from, the way you experience it is the same.
To find out even more about the world of Champagne and Sparkling Wine, click on – Free Champagne & Sparkling Wine Infographics
I hope this helps you and if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to send us a message on Twitter.
Journalist focused on sharing Champagne and Sparkling Wine reviews and cocktails to the world.