What is the right temperature for Champagne?
Everyone knows that champagne should be served chilled, but at what temperature exactly? and are there any exceptions to this rule? So, here's what you need to know…
The majority of champagne lovers agree on a serving temperature of between 6 and 8°C.
But why is champagne served chilled?
For its bubbles, its effervescence. The lower the temperature, the more the CO2 is dissolved into the champagne and the lower the pressure it exerts on the cork. A "warm" champagne, on the other hand, will be too frothy and is likely to spew over when the bottle is opened. Another important thing to consider: freshness enhances acidity.
However, as you probably guessed, there are always exceptions to the rule….
You may already know this, but a champagne’s aromas and flavours are affected by the temperature at which it is served. If a champagne is too cold, it will be unable to reveal these aromas. Worse, it could even have an anaesthetising effect on your taste buds.
The style of the champagne
Old champagnes, the great fine champagnes, vintages, prestige or rosé champagnes can all be served at different temperatures. These champagnes are generally more focused on vinosity, smoothness and aromatic richness and may benefit from slightly higher serving temperatures (over 9°C) than the classic champagnes.
The time of drinking
The time when you are going to drink the champagne will also influence the serving temperature. Serving the champagne as an aperitif is not the same as serving it with food. Drinking the champagne in the winter is not the same as drinking it in the summer. When enjoying it in summer, we prefer our champagne cooler but, perhaps out of habit, when we are enjoying it with food, we look for vinosity. A higher temperature therefore sometimes makes more sense.
How should you chill your champagne?
In the fridge for 3 to 4 hours or in an ice bucket filled with water and ice cubes.
Don’t ever put your bottle in the freezer. Champagne is a very particular and sensitive type of product and it must be respected. A sudden temperature change could result in a disastrous loss of finesse and aromas.
Chilling the glasses by placing them in the freezer is also a bad idea because you will lose some of the effervescence once the champagne is served in them.
You should also bear in mind that the temperature of the champagne changes quickly, even between two servings.
You won't be surprised to learn therefore that my parting advice to you is the following: get yourself an ice bucket!