How to Taste Champagne & Sparkling Wine Like a Pro

16th January 2017


Been given a fancy bottle of bubbly?

Now’s the perfect time to learn how to get the most from tasting it (and show off to your friends). These are some basic tips to get you started:

Firstly, make sure the Champagne or sparkling wine is cold – but not too cold. For a non-vintage, around 8-10 °C, so usually it’s fine a few minutes after leaving the fridge. If you’re lucky enough to have a vintage, serve it slightly less cold at around 10-12 °C.

The glass is important. Avoid using a very thin flute or a coupe and opt for either a thicker flute, a tulip or classic white wine glass (best for vintages). It will keep the bubbles and flavour better.

Once you have successfully opened the bottle (gently with a hiss) and poured your bubbly (tilting the glass and pouring in steps) it’s time to taste!

Well, we should take a look at the wine before that. Hold the sparkling wine up to eye-level to admire the colour and way the bubbles rise – is the colour more yellow or pale? Large bubbles or small?

The more you look at different wines like this, you will start to recognise differences. Also, with sparkling wine, it’s not necessary to swirl it.

The aroma is next. Hold the glass under your nose and try and decipher what types of subtle scents you smell. Fruity, floral or toasty? Strong or delicate? Make some notes for each new Champagne or sparkling wine you try and it will become easier to detect different aromas.

Finally, the flavour. Take a sip. Think about what flavours you can taste. Typical flavours in sparkling wine can be citrus, apple, vanilla, toast and nuttiness. High quality and vintage Champagnes and sparkling wines tend to be more creamy and toasty. Prosecco tends to be more light and fruity.

After drinking, enjoy the flavour that lingers on your palate. A longer finish indicates a better quality bubbly.

Keep making notes each time and soon you’ll be able to show off your wine tasting skills! If you want to learn more, check out nearby courses and tasting events.


Glass of Bubbly

Executive editor of news content for the website Please enjoy the articles that we share - We hope you find our love for Champagne & Sparkling Wines both interesting and educational.