Champagne Do’s and Don’ts
To start the New Year off on the right foot, we've put together some do's and don'ts for the perfect Champagne Lover.
5 things you must do
Hold your glass properly
To be a perfect Champagne Lover, the rule is simple: always hold your glass by the stem. And the real champagne faux pas to be avoided at all costs is clasping the bowl of your glass in the palm of your hands as it heats the glass and therefore the champagne.
Serve the champagne at the right temperature
As a rule of thumb, the perfect serving temperature to allow the champagne to express the full power of the aromas on the palate is 9°C. However, some champagnes can be enjoyed at around 11-14°C.
Philipe Jamesse, former sommelier at two-star Michelin restaurant Les Crayères and now a consultant in Champagne takes us through it. For an aperitif, the wine should be served around 8-10°C, but after that, the serving temperature moves up to 12-14°C, and sometimes even 16°C, for wines that have ageing, complexity, texture and above all body.
Wash the glasses properly
For a perfect wash, use hot water and only very little washing up liquid (just enough to remove the trace of grandma's lipstick). For rinsing, it is best to rinse the glasses in lukewarm water to remove any residue.
As for drying, opinions differ as to whether to leave your glasses to dry in the open air upside down or on a tea towel, so choose the method you prefer. And the best way to obtain nice clean shiny glasses is to use a microfibre cloth!
Match the food to the champagne
The eternal question: what dish should I pair my champagne with? Check out Pierre Guigui's mini-guide here.
Wear a padded sleeveless jacket
It's in every wardrobe and on everyone's back. Have you got yours? The padded sleeveless jacket keeps you warm while allowing you greater freedom of movement. Are you part of the sleeveless jacket brigade?
5 things you mustn’t do
Put your champagne in the freezer
Yep, it's happened to all of us! An oversight, lack of time, friends dropping by unexpectedly... but it's a bad habit. Putting your bottle in the freezer is absolutely not recommended. A very low temperature can cause the champagne to lose all its aromas and flavours.
Store your bottles upright and in the light
There are three main rules for storing bottles of champagne:
1. Store away from light: Yes, bad light could, just on its own, damage your wines and cause “lightstrike”.
2. Store champagne in a relatively humid place: To age perfectly, champagne needs a high degree of humidity of between 70% and 80%.
3. Store in a healthy and quiet atmosphere: To prevent bad smells from getting into the wine and to preserve the effervescence, a quiet and healthy location is best.
Hold the bottle incorrectly when serving
Do you want to serve wine like a real sommelier? It's not actually that hard! Simply hold the bottle by the base and not by the neck (you warm up the wine). Then, pour out the Champagne in several stages according to the size of the glass.
Drink champagne from the wrong glass
Flute, coupe, blida, wine glass.... you don't know which glass to choose? To help you decide, Grappers has classified and rated the different types of glass. Now, it's down to you to take your pick!
Store an open bottle incorrectly
How do you store a bottle once it has been opened? Put a stopper in it to prevent the gas from escaping and the precious bubbles from going flat. Then store it in a dark, cool and quiet location.