How to Enjoy Champagne
Although there are lots of types of sparkling white wine to choose from (cava, prosecco etc) it is fair to say nothing is the same as champagne. This sparkling white wine is made from chardonnay grapes in the Champagne region in France and is produced in a specific way. It is worth knowing how to enjoy champagne since its fullest so you can treasure every sip of this exquisite drink.
The rules of champagne making demand secondary fermentation of the champagne wine in the bottle to create the carbonation. The main grapes used to make it are white chardonnay, pinot meunier and black pinot noir, although these vary. A ‘blanc de blancs’ champagne, for example, only contains the chardonnay grape.
This wonderful fizz has been associated with royalty since the 17th century and the leading champagne manufacturers tried hard to associate their product with royalty and nobility with their packaging and advertising, which also brought it into the hearts of the emerging middle class.
More About How to Enjoy Champagne
This type of wine needs to be kept somewhere dark and cool, away from light, heat, temperature variations and vibrations. Champagne is ready to drink as soon as it is released into the market but some people like to cellar their champagne for several years.
Chill the champagne well before opening it but never put it in the freezer. The best way to chill it is to put the bottle into a bucket of ice water for half an hour. If you cannot do that, refrigerate it for at least half an hour instead. A lot of people always keep a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator for unexpected celebrations and guests and know all about how to enjoy champagne.
How to Open Champagne
Did you know the pressure in a bottle of champagne is the same as a tire on a bus, or 90 pounds per square inch? To open a bottle, slant it at a 45 degree angle, put your thumb on the cork, then twist off the wire mesh and discard it. Grasp the cork and twist the bottle (yes, the bottle not the cork) and you will find the pressure pushes the cork out when you gently twist.
What Type of Glasses for Champagne?
Part of knowing how to enjoy champagne is knowing how to serve it. Serve it in tall flute glasses between 42 and 47 degrees F. In some movies you can see champagne being served in wide saucer-like glasses but those are better for ice cream. Champagne is better in flute glasses because they concentrate the aromas and enhance the flow of tiny bubbles. Never chill or ice glasses you are going to serve champagne in.
Personally I love Riedel glassware and recommend Riedel glasses. If you are going to drink a superior beverage like champagne, you will want to serve it in beautiful glasses to get the most out of the experience!
You can expect to see tiny bubbles to rise in a continuous stream. Pour a little champagne into a glass and let it settle before pouring in more. The glass should be 2/3 full but don’t pour in too much at once else it will bubble over (and that’s a waste of champagne!)
Riedel Champagne Flutes, on Amazon
How Much Champagne Do I Need?
One bottle of champagne is sufficient for every 3 guests (or 4 if you are also serving other beverages). If you are serving it as part of a meal, one bottle will be sufficient for every 2 or 3. For toasting the bride, one bottle is enough for 6 to 10 people.’
If you are having an event and you aren’t sure how much champagne you will need, it is better to get more than you think you need, because it does keep and you will be able to enjoy it again at a later date. There is always something to celebrate and, if not, a bottle of champagne shared with a loved one or friend is always wonderful. Learning how to enjoy champagne is a real pleasure.