How to Enjoy Champagne

Find out more about how to open, enjoy and save leftover champagne. Is prosecco champagne? What is brut champagne? What is demi-sec champagne? Which champagne is sweet? The questions about this iconic bubbly beverage are endless.

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.

How to Enjoy Champagne: A Few Alternatives

First of all, some people prefer Cava, prosecco or similar and that’s fine. Personally I love the dry, toasty flavor of a good quality dry champagne. I’ve had some good Cavas and some really good sparkling white wine from Washington. I’ve never ever had a palatable prosecco though. It just doesn’t seem to have any character, in my opinion.

But I always encourage people to taste, taste, taste! We all have different preferences. I’ve had some sparkling white wines which were great and some authentic champagnes which were so-so. I have a preference for sec (dry) followed by demi-sec (semi-dry) and don’t like sweet sparkling wines. But that’s just me.

How to Enjoy Champagne: What It’s Made With

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. The leading champagne manufacturers tried hard to associate their product with royalty and nobility with their packaging and advertising. This is how it was brought into the hearts of the emerging middle class.

If you’re into history you might be curious about how Indian food became one of the most popular foods in all of the UK.

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.

ChampagneChill 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 a Champagne Bottle

You might be curious how to pop champagne without it bubbling over. 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?

riedel champagne glassPart 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 honestly those are better for ice cream.

Champagne is lower in calories than some other kinds of wine, so yes – enjoy that second flute!

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.

How to Save Champagne

If the bottle is opened and there is some left, just keep it in the refrigerator. You won’t get the cork back in but it will stay bubbly overnight.

If it does go flat, don’t worry. You can always use it in recipes in the place of white wine. Try it the next time you cook mussels!how to enjoy champagne

So, all that’s left to say is… bottoms up!! Cheers!