Drinking champagne would seem like a pretty fool-proof practice, especially when it seems like it only involves pouring and sipping. However, keep in mind that consuming this bubbly wonder can be a bit more complicated than it might seem. When you sit down with winemakers and the experts, you will discover that there is really a proper way of drinking champagne to best enjoy its flavours and aromas. Here are the most common pitfalls that champers unknowingly commit:
Pairing It Only with Fine Food
Champagne, particularly the rose champagne, might seem like a drink that is meant to pair delicacies, but as one that generally goes well and taste best with salty and fatty food, you can bring on the BBQ, hotdogs, fried chicken, French fries and more!
Using a Flute
According to Moët & Chandon’s Elise Losfelt, a white wine glass is optimal because the bowl would allow the wine to open in the glass, so you will be able to enjoy all its aromas and complexity. “Traditional Champagne flutes have a celebratory shape and are perfect for showcasing Champagne’s stream of bubbles, but their narrow shape actually stifles aromas and flavors,” she said. “Coupe glasses, on the other hand, create the opposite experience; the glass’ extra-wide mouth overexposes the Champagne to air allowing the bubbles to escape too quickly and not allowing the drinker to enjoy all of its aromas.”
Opening the Bottle Incorrectly
Do you know how to open a bottle of champagne, the right way? Well, there is a 3-step process to ensure total control over it. Place your thumb on top of the cage; untwist the wire frame but keep it on the cork; and twist the bottle away from the cork, rather than keeping the cork away from the bottle.
Filling Your Glass Too High
Take note that pouring more than a third of a glass will cause the wine to warm very quickly, preventing you to enjoy the drink chilled.
Holding the Glass by the Bowl and not the Stem
The temperature of champagne is highly important to tasting the complexity of its flavour. Now, if you are holding the glass by the bowl, you will be warming the wine too quickly.
Storing It in the Fridge Way Too Long
Unless you plan to consume champagne within half a week, you should store the bottle in a cool, dark place until you are ready to open it. Losfelt states, “If you store it for weeks [in the refrigerator], it will become problematic because there is not a lot of humidity in a fridge and the cork is going to dry out.” As the cork dries out, the seal between the bottle and the cork will loosen up and the Champagne will oxidize faster, which will dramatically change its aromas.”
Waiting for Special Occasions
Champagne is not only for accenting only celebratory or formal occasions. “Don’t overthink Champagne – just enjoy it,” Losfelt recommends. “And if you have a bottle of Champagne in your refrigerator now, don’t wait for a special occasion…You will see that by opening that bottle, the special occasion will come to you.”
There you have it! The next time you are having champagne for a celebration, make sure you avoid these wring practices of drinking this great wine!