Five Ways to Enhance your Champagne Drinking Experience
Champagne is the ultimate treat. When it comes time to pop the cork, you want to be sure that you follow the champagne rules to enhance your experience and get the best enjoyment out of your bubbles.
1. Choosing the Right Size Champagne
The first thing you should consider is how many people are joining you to celebrate. If it’s more than six or you’d like to have more than one glass each, you may want to consider buying a larger bottle. A magnum, jeroboam, methuselah or maybe even something larger makes a bold statement. Read up on how to handle and serve large formats, including how to open them and what extra equipment you might need, in our guide to serving larger bottles.
2. The Best Temperature for Champagne
The ideal temperature for champagne varies depending on the style. For most non-vintage champagnes such as Moët & Chandon Brut or Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, the sweet spot is between 8°C and 10°C – any cooler and the champagne won’t be showing its delicate aromas and flavours. Most fridges sit at around 7°C, so if you chill it in the fridge make sure to remove it five minutes before serving. For more complex styles such as Dom Pérignon or vintage champagnes, between 10°C and 12°C is optimum to help showcase the nuances in aroma and flavour. Krug champagne is richer, and like sweet or demi-sec styles, it prefers slightly cooler temperatures of between 9°C and 12°C. For rosé champagne, follow the temperature guidance for blanc styles and adjust based on vintage/non-vintage.
3. How to Open a Bottle of Champagne
Opening champagne is a bit of an art form. Allowing the cork to do its own thing will likely result in spillage. To avoid this, you’ll need a firm grip. First, slowly undo the cage. Once the cage has been removed, hold the bottom of the bottle in one hand and the top of the cork in your other hand. Twist the bottle rather than the cork to gently ease it out. You’ll hear a soft ‘pfft’ sound when the cork is released.
4. Choosing the Ideal Champagne Glass
Surprisingly, the perfect champagne glass is not a flute or a saucer but a tulip-shaped champagne glass. With its wide bowl and tapered rim, a tulip-shaped glass allows enough aeration in the bowl to let the champagne aromas and flavours develop, and its narrow rim traps those aromas, making the smelling and drinking of the champagne a more intensified and enjoyable experience.
5. How to Keep Champagne Fresh
If you’re planning on keeping some champagne for another day, you’ll need to invest in a champagne stopper. Oxygen is the enemy of any style of wine as it can dull the aromas and flavours. In the case of champagne, it will also reduce the bubbles. Invest in an air-tight champagne stopper and you can enjoy effervescent champagne for longer after opening.