Serving Champagne

Champagne (along with other sparkling wines) is the most celebratory of beverages. Although Champagne can turn any day into a party, Americans have been conditioned to think it is only for “Special Occasions.” Not necessarily so… It’s the wine that goes with everything, so when in doubt, you cannot go wrong to choose a sparkling wine.

Wine BottlePop! goes the cork… and the Champagne sprays all over the room. This scene belongs only in the movies. Good sparkling wines cost too much, and are too delicious to waste that way.

For starters, make sure your sparkling wine has been properly (and completely) chilled. Then, to open a bottle, remove the protective wrapper around the cork. Loosen the wire cage and remove it. Next, take a clean kitchen towel and place it over the top of the bottle. Hold the cork and towel in your auxiliary hand, and with your dominant hand, turn the BOTTLE! Point the cork away from you. It may take a moment or two, but the cork will soon dislodge (more gently) and discharge just a poof of gas. Then you can pour the golden liquid into your flute.

No, I’m not referring to a musical instrument! There are several glasses from which to serve Champagne and sparkling wines. The most common ones are the coupe and the flute. The coupe shaped glass (said to be modeled after a woman’s breast!) is shallow and causes the bubbles to dissipate quickly. This kind of glass became famous in old movies, as it lent itself well to dramatic scenes of throwing Champagne into the protagonist’s face. Although the coupe glass is again popular, for the best enjoyment of the beverage choose the long, slender stemmed glass known as a “flute.”

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