How to Buy, Open, Pour and Drink Champagne

Christmas is near, and the month-long booze-a-thon has begun. Next time you bust out a bottle of bubbly, make sure you know the rules of the game. How to serve champagne like a pro (and not look like a snob).

Only Champagne Is Champagne
Champagne is produced exclusively in France’s Champagne region – anything else is a sparkling wine. It’s that simple.

Play the Flute
Get a long stem and narrow bowl. The longer the stem, the easier it is to hold the glass without warming the bubbly.

Keep It Cold
Chill both stemware and bottle. “The lower the temperature, the slower the gas is released,” says J.E. Barth, associate professor at the University of Guelph’s School of Hospitality & Tourism Management (a.k.a., Professor Party). “A cold glass will result in less foaming and a better pour.”

Hiss, Not Pop
“With the bottle planted on the table, face the label to the viewer and carefully remove the foil one inch from the top,” explains Professor Party. “Using one hand, grab the bottle with your thumb as your other hand removes the cage. Cradle the bottle under your arm at 45 degrees. With your thumb still on the cork, rotate the bottle with ease.” This will ensure against flying corks and unintentional spilling.

It’s Not Beer
“Refrain from tipping your glass as you receive the champagne,” instructs Prof. Party. “Pour vertically, very slowly and always fill to the top.”

It’s Not (That) Expensive
“Even bottles at the $40 range are still good,” says Prof. Party. “There’s no such thing as bad Champagne.”

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4 thoughts on “How to Buy, Open, Pour and Drink Champagne

  1. Mmmm. Breakfast of Champions. Glad to hear someone finally point out you shouldn’t “pop” the cork. The palate loses what the ear gains.

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