September is here, bringing “back to school”, “back to work” and “back to the routine”. But it also brings plenty of get-together parties to meet the friends you haven’t seen most summer, to talk about all the fabulous places you’ve been to and, by all means, to show off your beautiful tan before it disappears!
And no party is “really” a party without champagne, the drink of celebration by excellence!
To get you ready for the party season ahead, we prepared a little guide on the etiquette of champagne serving and drinking:
How to chill your champagne
The perfect temperature for your champs is somewhere between 8°C and 9°C. Make sure to serve it only at the right temperature! An ice bucket with water and ice is the best and fastest way to chill your bubbly, but you can also keep it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours before serving it.
When to open your bubbly
You don’t need to wait for some special occasion to enjoy this delicious sparkling wine. Champagne rhymes with brunch, lunch and dinner. For a delicious breakfast, champagne goes well with omelettes, Eggs Benedict and smoked salmon. When drinking it during lunch and dinner, it pairs perfectly with fish, king prawns and white meat such as chicken and turkey. It is also a lovely accompaniment for caviar and cheese, especially sheep and goat cheese, and with your dessert. End the meal with a sec or demi-sec, which sweetness is just right.
How to open your champagne bottle
Hollywood likes to show in the movies champagne bottles popping with a loud noise, the corks flying across the room and the fizzy drink showering all the party guests. Well, that’s not the way to do it, plus, it would be a shame to waste such a wonderful drink.
First of all, remove the twisted wire cage that protects the cork, the muselet, but only when you’re ready to open your champagne. Hold the bottle firmly with one hand, the other hand holding the cork to prevent it from giving a black eye to one of your guests! Rotate the bottle, not the cork. As you do so, slowly move your hands apart until the cork gently pops out. Hold the cork over the bottle for an instant, to make sure you’re not going to make a mess with the foam that might spill out.
How to pour the champers
Hold the glass upright (this is champagne, not beer, darling!), pour slowly the bubbly so as to fill one-third of each glass, only then pour a little more, but never up to the top. Because of its bubbles, the champagne rises quickly; be careful and do it slowly not to spill it.
Where to pour your sparkling wine
Coupes, Flutes or Tulips? The Roaring Twenties and The Great Gatsby’s champagne glasses were coupes. Legend has it that the saucer-shaped bowls were modelled on the breasts of Madame de Pompadour, the French King Louis XV’s mistress, now isn’t that just perfect for a decadently luxurious party? But although coupes are beautiful, the bubbles cannot rise very far and they escape from the flat coupe glasses too fast.
The long narrow flutes that are widely used for champagne nowadays are like bubble engines, the fizz of the bubbles coming up bring you the aroma before you even take a sip of the golden drink but still, they are not ideal, especially when drinking more expensive champagne, because the narrow bowl of the glass doesn’t allow the aromas to develop fully. Also, you will most likely hit the bridge of your nose on the edge of the flute.
The tulip-shaped glasses, which are a mix of both coupe and flute, are long like a flute but with a wider and rounder central bowl. They have proved to be the best champagne glasses because they allow the aroma to be better expressed while preserving the carbonation so that you can enjoy the full flavour and the bubbles for longer.
How to hold your glass of bubbly champers
Whether a coupe, a flute or a tulip, all champagne glasses come with a long stem. The stem is there for a very particular reason: you should always hold your champagne glass by the long stem so that your sparkling wine remains cold for longer.
Now, bottoms up and enjoy the party season!
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