Tips to Enjoy your Champagne or Sparkling Wine Experience
5th March 2016
Enjoying a glass of bubbly can be improved by many things – good company, a great view, warm weather, or simply peace and quiet – but there’s also a few other things you can do to get the most out of your Champagne and sparkling wines.
Store the bottle well: If you plan on keeping your bottle for a while, keep it away from light in a dry, cool place. Store it horizontally if possible.
Make sure your bubbly is perfectly chilled: Each sparkling wine has its recommended serving temperature which is usually on the label, but in general 2 hours in the fridge or 20 minutes in an ice bucket works well.
Know your styles: Extra-Dry, brut, sec, demi-sec, doux etc. simply refer to the sweetness of the wine based on how much sugar it contains. ‘Brut’ is the most popular. ‘Blanc de Blancs’ and ‘Blanc de Noirs’ refers to the type of grapes used – more about styles.
Choose the right glass: While a flute is the classic option and looks the part, if you have an exceptional wine (such as a vintage Champagne) it might be better to use a traditional wine glass as it’s better for tasting.
Go big!: If you’re expecting a lot of guests, why not go for something with a little more WOW factor such as a magnum (15 glasses) or even a Jeroboam (31 glasses)?
Open the bottle like a pro: Hold your thumb over the cork and hold the bottom of the bottle, tipping it to a 45 degree angle. Gently twist the bottom of the bottle and the cork should release with a hiss (not a pop).
Pair with food: Sparkling wines are versatile when it comes to food, but there are some good suggestions as to what pairs well. In general, dry wines go well with most things, but particularly salty/fried foods, while rosé and blanc de blancs go well with fish, desserts and soft cheese. Find more food pairings ideas here.
Optimise pouring: To get a good flow of bubbles and avoid spillage, fill the glass in stages: tilt the glass and slowly pour the bubbly, then pause to allow the foam to reduce, then pour to fill the glass.
Make a Champagne toast: If you want to make a toast the French way, be sure to raise your glass (not empty!), then once you or someone else has finished talking, clink your glasses while making eye contact with the other person as you do it. Now you can drink!
Glass of Bubbly
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