Serving Champagne

Champagne giftsThe best way to serve Champagne

Nothing says “let’s celebrate” like a beautiful bottle of Champagne. But do you know how to pour it? Or which glasses to use? Karen Brimblecombe at Wines Select shares her expert tips on storing and serving Champagne.

How should you store Champagne?

Don’t store Champagne in the fridge. Instead, keep it in a cool, dry, dark place at a constant temperature of around 10-12° C (maximum 15°C). It’s important to keep Champagne away from heat, light and vibrations. As a rule, non-vintage Champagnes can be kept unopened for three to four years, and vintage cuvées for five to ten years. You can store Champagne upright or horizontally, but horizontal storage is recommended for vintage Champagne to prevent the cork from drying out.

How should you chill Champagne?

Champagne is best consumed cold, but not ice cold. The best way to chill your bottle is to place it in an ice bucket half filled with ice and half with water for at least twenty minutes. Don’t be tempted to blast chill it in freezer as this will spoil the bubbles and it might explode on opening!

How to open and serve Champagne?

You should aim to open the bottle slowly so the cork comes out with a gentle hiss, rather than a loud pop. This will preserve all those delicious bubbles.

First, peel off the foil around the cork, keeping the wire cage intact. The wire cage is there to keep the cork in place, as the bubbles in the bottle can loosen the cork over time. Don’t take the cage off before you’re ready to ease the cork out of the bottle – otherwise you could have Champagne everywhere.

Simply loosen the wire cage by untwisting the key – keep the cage on top of the cork. Never twist the cork, as this could cause the cork to break. You should only twist the bottle.

Grip the bottle in one hand at a 45° angle; being careful to point the bottle away from yourself and other people. Hold the top of the cork with one hand and grip the base of the bottle with the other. Slowly twist the bottle until you feel the cork begin to release, it should take about six twists of the bottle to release the cork, then let the cork slide out gently.

What is the best glass for serving Champagne?

The ideal glass to serve Champagne in is a tulip-shaped flute as this type of glass ensures the bubbles stay longer! Rinse Champagne glasses with hot water before use and leave them to drain. Don’t dry them with a cloth, as some of the fibres can stick to the glass and dull the bubbles. Remember to hold your glass by the stem and not the bowl because your hands will warm the champagne up too quickly and it looks more elegant!

Serving ChampagneHow should you pour Champagne?

Tilt the glass and pour a little Champagne slowly onto the side of the glass, not into the base and wait till the fizz subsides before you top up to prevent the glass from overflowing. Don’t overfill the glass, about one-third is best so it won’t warm up too quickly and you can inhale the bouquet.

Now order the perfect Champagne

If you’ve yet to buy your perfect Champagne, take a look our corporate Champagne gifts and here.

Champagne is the ideal choice for a corporate event or a gift for someone you want to thank or congratulate. One of my favourites is Champagne Bernard Remy Carte Blanche NV Brut, which received three medals at the International Wine Challenge this January. In fact, the Champagne house of Bernard Remy is a popular choice with many of our customers. So if you would like to purchase a case of six bottles or more please email me at karen@winesselect.co.uk or call 01403 752035 for a quote.