Champagne is a drink that has been around for centuries, but some people don't know how to enjoy it properly. The proper pour should have the perfect balance of bubbles to liquid. If you're not careful, your Champagne can go flat or worse - fizzle out before you get to drink any!
This post will teach you how to properly pour and drink Champagne so that your champers taste as good as they look. Learn these tips, and you'll be able to impress your friends with your newfound knowledge of this historic beverage!
What You'll Need
- Champagne bottle - This is the most crucial material you need when you're learning how to drink and pour Champagne; apparently, you can't demonstrate without one! No matter what occasion you're celebrating, there is a perfect bottle for it. You can choose your favorite ones, or check the best Champagnes out there for suggestions.
- Towel - The towel or bar mop towel is mainly used when opening a Champagne bottle. But one also uses these to wipe off any spills when pouring or keeping the bottle dry so it won’t slide off your hand.
- Champagne glasses - If you're looking for a way to get the most out of your experience with Champagne, make sure that your glassware is top-notch. For best results, serve champagne in tulips, flutes, or coupes.
How to Pour Champagne
- Get your preferred Champagne glass and make sure they are already clean and dry.
- To correctly hold the bottle, use your dominant hand. Press your thumb onto the vast concave space at the bottom of the bottle, known as the "punt." Then, spread the rest of your fingers around the sides.
- Use your other hand to hold the glass and tilt it at about 45 degrees. Keep a firm grip on the stem and not its bowl when pouring Champagne. Touching any part of the bowl will affect how well conditioned this delicate drink tastes.
- Pour the Champagne slowly, little by little, into your glass and make sure the liquid touches the side, so it does not build up too much foam.
- Do not fill the entire glass in one quick go; if you do so, you'll end up creating a lot of foam, and you will lose the bubbles quickly.
- Once the liquid has reached half of the glass, stop there. However, stop a little below half if you're using a wine glass.
- After pouring, keep the bottle tightly closed. Otherwise, bubbles can escape, and flavor will diminish quickly. Using a stopper will help maintain its freshness!
- Wipe off spills or drips with your towel, if there are any.
How to Properly Drink Champagne
- Look at your glass of Champagne and observe the color. If it's lighter, it is young, and it is usually older if it is a bit darker.
- Take a good whiff of your Champagne. Smelling will help enhance taste and give an idea of what kind of tasting experience awaits!
- Drink Champagne with your eyes closed and savor the flavors as the liquid goodness coats every part of your tongue. Think about what flavors are present as you indulge in the drink.
- Take each sip slowly as it is the best way to enjoy this refreshing beverage. You'll miss out on all those beautiful aromas and subtle flavors if you gulp it down as quickly, so take time for each sip!
If you want a visual presentation of the pouring and drinking processes, watch this video:
Things to Keep In Mind
It's essential to know the ideal temperature for serving Champagne. The general figure should be around 50 °F. The perfect drinking temperature for a bottle of non-vintage Champagne should be between 46.4 - 50 °F.
Meanwhile, vintage Champagnes can be served between 50 - 53.6 °F before you pop open that bottle. A warm temperature enhances this type of Champagne's flavor and bouquet. Chill it in a wine refrigerator for 24 hours to make your Champagne pop. Even if time is of the essence, DO NOT put your Champagne in the freezer.
This will not chill it fast enough, and you could end up with an over-chilled drink that is flat and dull! You can mix two tablespoons of salt with cold water and ice into an iced drink cooler or ice bucket. Then, leave the bottle in the bucket filled with ice for 30 minutes before serving so that both heat sources will be evenly distributed throughout.
Type of Glass
Drinking Champagne using a coupe is considered archaic now. During the early years of the 20th century, people popularized using coupe for Champagne. However, experts had debunked this trend when they observed giving you less space to taste. Also, their wider rim prompts you to drink the Champagne fast because the bubbles will fizz out quickly.
Champagne flutes are the more obvious choice, and people have reserved this glass for Champagne and other sparkling wines like Prosecco. A Champagne flute is the best option if you want your drink to stay fizzy longer and look fantastic. But there may be less room for all the flavors to come out because the shape of the bowl is narrow.
Many people suggest that the best way to drink Champagne is with a tulip glass. Aside from modern-looking, these glasses have sufficient space for all the aromas to build up and retain while still showcasing the lovely bubbles. If you don't have this glass, use a white wine glass as an alternative.
Some people believe that storing Champagne in the fridge will keep it fresh for longer, but this is not true. If you prefer to enjoy your bottle of Champagne as soon as possible, you should store it in the fridge for about 3 days after purchase. But since there's no humidity inside a fridge, the cork will dry out fast after being stored for weeks at a time without opening.
With this, it’s best not to wait more than 4 days from its purchase until enjoying! Unlike red wine, Champagne doesn't benefit from aging for long periods because they are already properly aged when they're sold.
But if you have bought Champagne and don't plan on consuming it for the next week or month, you can store it in a dry, cool place, away from direct light and vibrations. A wine cellar would be a fantastic place for them. If left unopened, vintage Champagne can last for 5-10 years, while non-vintage can last for 3-4 years.
Tips for the Perfect Champagne Drinking Experience
To pop or not to pop?
Hearing the pop when opening a nice bottle of Champagne is one of the highlights of the whole drinking experience. It just seems traditional! However, it's a bit unsafe, and many experts advise against it, especially in a formal setting. In some cases, popping is acceptable when you're outside with a few people.
Positioning the glass
The secret to making your sparkling wines taste better is pouring them at an angle just like you would when pouring beer. It preserves more of those tiny gas bubbles, and it keeps the flavor better by keeping all its nuances from being dissipated in your glass so quickly!
How much to fill?
Don't overdo it. About two-thirds of the glass is your limit, and anything after that is just a waste of flavor. Give the bubbles a little bit of time and watch them pop with their delicious fizz, releasing a refreshing aroma that fills up your nose.
Knowing your bottle
Knowing what type of Champagne you're serving or having is an excellent opportunity to learn about Champagne, in general, and what tastes to expect. You can inspect the bottle by reading the label to know if it's vintage or not, its producer, sweetness, and more.
What to do with leftovers
One hack to keep your leftover Champagne bubbly is putting a spoon in your bottle. To do this, insert the spoon’s hand in the mouth of the bottle and let it dangle before storing the bottle in your fridge.
Since the metal spoon is cold, it creates a cold plug for air above it. This prevents gases from rising quickly and keeps the bubbles in the bottles! You can also use a good Champagne stopper, or if you are willing to invest in an innovative preservation tool, use a Perlage system.
Food pairings are an essential part of sparkling wine enjoyment. Champagne pairs well with oily, salty, and/or fatty foods like fried chicken or burgers. You can also have an assortment of seafood or indulgent desserts when drinking Champagne.
These foods enhance the wine's fruitiness by adding new flavors and a distinct personality that creates a cohesive meal.
Try magnum bottles
If you are fond of aging, magnums are your go-to bottle. These larger glass containers age and oxidize slower simply because they have more surface area than 750-ml bottles. With this, they also retain their freshness longer than standard bottles.
Prepare glasses beforehand
Make sure to wash your drinking glass carefully. A dishwasher is not the best place to wash your Champagne glasses, as this can lead to streaks and soap buildup that would ruin their beauty forever! Hand washing and letting them air dry are the best routes for preserving their quality.
Don’t shake the bottle
If you shake the bottle of Champagne, then all of that beautiful bubbly will burst and get into everything! You don't want any spills on your clothes, and you don't want to waste good sparkling wine either.
The proper atmosphere
If you're serving in an area with poor lighting and no ventilation, then your guests might not enjoy their experience as much as they could elsewhere! The perfect tasting room should be comfortable with plenty of light and fresh air ventilation to keep things interesting.
Enjoy sparkling wine anytime!
You can enjoy Champagne at any time of the year, not just during New Year's Eve, birthdays, or other well-known celebrations. You can even enjoy it during dinner or an afternoon snack.
We hope you enjoyed these Champagne tidbits! If you’re ready to enjoy your next glass of bubbly, make sure to follow the guidelines we shared. They will help create an incredible experience and keep your celebration going well into the night.
Now, all you need is a bottle of bubbly and some friends! Also, you can share your experiences with us in the comments. Happy drinking!