Posted on: 11 May 2015
Champagne is a staple of weddings, New Year's Eve parties, and other celebratory occasions. That means that you're probably offered a flute of champagne at least once or twice a year. Do you turn it down, or drink a few sips out of a sense of tradition, then turn to more preferred drinks? If so, you're not alone – despite the fact that it's so often served at parties and events, many people just don't care for champagne. Or they think they don't. However, it's possible that you really would like champagne if you were drinking it correctly. Check out a few common mistakes people make when drinking champagne, and what you should be doing instead. You may discover that you like the bubbly liquid more than you thought you did.
You're Opening The Bottle Wrong
Popping a champagne cork looks fun and dramatic in the movies, which is probably why so many people try to recreate the experience at parties. In real life though, you're making a mess, you're wasting champagne (which can be expensive) and, most importantly, you're losing bubbles. Do you drink soda immediately after shaking it up and letting the foam explode all over? Probably not, because you know that the soda will be flat and unappealing after that. Champagne is the same way – if you go for the big, dramatic pop and the spray of champagne, the liquid in your glass will be flat and dull.
Do This Instead: Set the bottle on a flat surface; don't hold it in one hand and open it in the other. Remove the foil and the metal wire, then hold your hand over the cork to prevent it from flying off without warning. Instead of twisting the cork to remove it, turn the bottle while holding on to the cork until you hear the rush of air that lets you know that the cork has been released from the bottle. It won't be as much fun, but your champagne will taste a lot better.
You're Serving It At The Wrong Time
When is the best time to break out the bottle of champagne? For whatever reason, it commonly seems to come out around the same time that dessert does. Perhaps this has become a habit at parties and dinner gatherings because champagne is so often served with the wedding cake at weddings. Whatever the reason, it's a bad pairing. The mix of champagne and a sweet dessert damages the flavor of both items.
Do This Instead: Champagne may not be a good dessert wine, but it's an excellent match with salty items, so try pairing it with the appetizers that are served before dinner instead of the dessert that's served after dinner. It's delicious with cheese and crackers or salty hors d'oeuvres. Or you can simply serve it with the main course. The acidity of the champagne can help temper the fattiness of meat or heavy pastas and sauces.
You're Serving It In The Wrong Glass
Even if you're not much of a wine connoisseur, you probably know just which glass to use with champagne. The champagne flute is instantly recognizable by anyone who's visited a liquor store close to New Year's Eve. If you're a little more knowledgeable about the wine world, you may argue for the superiority of the champagne coupe, a less well-known, but still popular, champagne vessel that was once believed to be inspired by Marie Antoinette. But wine experts now say that both of these glasses are wrong for champagne. The flute doesn't allow the champagne enough room to breathe, and the coupe ruins the carbonation.
Do This Instead: Forget the flute and the coupe, and pour the champagne into a white wine glass instead. Like other types of wine, champagne needs to be exposed to the air to allow all of its flavors to blossom, and the white wine glass gives it enough room to do that, without spreading the liquid out so far that it ruins the bubbles. Plus, you'll be able to smell the perfume of the champagne more easily when you're using a white wine glass. That's important, because the experience of drinking wine depends on smell almost as much as taste.
The idea behind learning to pour, pair, and serve champagne correctly isn't to become a wine snob – it's to get the full enjoyment out of the drink. If you think that you don't like champagne, the problem may really be as simple as never having had it served correctly. Go ahead and try a glass of wycliff champagne from a carefully opened bottle, paired with a salty snack or a rich meal, and served from a white wine glass. You may discover something great that you've been missing all this time.Share