Champagne 'How To' - A Guide to opening and pouring the perfect fizz!

Here at Moore Champagne we’re positively passionate about great Champagne and because of this we get asked a lot of questions about our favourite beverage.  Those questions include ‘what’s the best way to open a bottle of Champagne? As well as ’what’s the best way to pour a glass of Champagne?   And every time our answer is ‘it depends what you want it to do.’

 

For a straightforward open with no wastage (our preferred option – no one likes seeing good Champagne wasted!).  You twist the bottle, not the cork.  Take off the cork cover and wire mesh, twist the cork just enough to loosen it and then hold the bottle and twist it while holding the cork firmly.  Slowly the cork should start to come loose. Go slowly and keep twisting. Resist the temptation to yank it out.  Eventually, depending on how fizzed up the bottle is, the cork should come out with a dull ‘phut’ – you’re now good to go.


For that spectacular bang.  To produce the iconic popped cork and spray of Champagne just be a little bit more aggressive when removing the cork. Simply push the cork up with your thumb and it will pop off – promptly followed by a trickle of Champagne.

Try to make sure you have a couple of glasses ready to pour straight into.

When opening in a more explosive manner make sure you point the bottle away from you and anyone else in the room. A launched Champagne cork is travelling at some speed and can really hurt!

Of course, you can always try sabring a bottle. If you are not an expert at this (who is?!) be prepared to see a lot of it go to waste!  Actually don’t do that. It’s a tragic waste. Buy a bottle of Cava or Prosecco and do it with that!

OK, you’ve popped the cork and managed to (hopefully) keep some of it in the bottle.  Let’s now get it out of the bottle and into a glass. 

 

The way you pour your Champagne is incredibly important. It can affect the taste, fizziness and temperature.  Let’s face it, when you’ve got a fantastic bottle to enjoy you want to do everything you can to ensure you get the best experience.  Plus, it’s always good to show off to your friends and family that you know what you’re doing.

Firstly – if you have some really special Champagne to enjoy – such as a nice vintage (Bruno Vauversain’s 2005 Millesime Grand Cru is one of our favourites!) surprising as it may sound, the traditional Champagne flute may not be the best glass to use.

 

Most places serve Champagne in flutes – these glasses have cache and they do show off the bubbles well.  However, the problem is that flutes are terrible for tasting the wine – the shape prevents enough oxygen from getting into the glass to open up the Champagne.   Worst of all, it blocks the aromas from reaching your nose which in turn limits the flavour.   It won’t look as fancy but a simple ordinary wine glass will do the trick!

 

So here are three steps to pouring that perfect glass of Champagne:

1.  Hold the bottle at the base in one hand with your thumb in the depression on the bottom (known as the ‘punt’ - fyi)

2.  Hold the glass in your other hand and tilt it to one side. Pour the Champagne onto the inner-side of the glass, not the base. This way the Champagne will hit the side of the glass, reducing the speed at which it hits the bottom of the glass and stop it losing its fizz.

 

3.  Wait until the bubbles subside and then continue pouring. Twist the bottle as you remove it from the glass to remove any residue Champagne on the edge of the bottle.

 

It may feel like a poser’s way of doing it but in fact scientific research backs up the technique.  Researchers from the University of Reims, based in France's Champagne region (so they should really know what they’re talking about), say the effervescent drink should be poured – ‘like beer’ - down the side of the glass.  This method of serving, they found, was best to preserve its taste and fizz. Contrary to the traditional method used in restaurants and bars.

 

The study, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, also showed how chilling Champagne affected its flavour.  Don’t believe us? Check out the research here.  So you don’t have to take our word for it.  Science is on our side.

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