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Champagne 101: How to Enjoy a Glass of Champagne Like a Pro?

The beginner’s guide to how to properly drink Champagne like an expert including the serving temperature of Champagne and the comparison of glass choice.

Champagne is not just a type of wine, it is a symbol of elegance, celebration and luxury. It is almost the synonym of the bubbles. However, not every sparkling wine can be called Champagne. It is a specific type of sparkling wine strictly produced in the Champagne region in France, following the production requirements of protected designation of origin. We often see the cork pops up and people pour Champagne into slim flute glasses. But in reality, what the right way to drink Champagne? How to enjoy your glass of Champagne like a real connoisseur?

Opening a bottle of Champagne in a professional way is nothing like what the movies show. Instead of having the celebrating cork popping sound, Champagne needs to be opened quietly. Gently turn the bottle and remove the cork is what the professional sommeliers do. The serving temperature is also essential. Ideally, Champagne is best served chilled, at 8 to 10°C (47-50°F). If the serving temperature is too low, the bouquet and aromas will be masked. On the other hand, if the Champagne is too warm, it loses the freshness and vibrance.

Now that the bottle is opened. What is the most suitable glass to optimize sensorial pleasure? The Champagne flute is the most common glass shape to drink Champagne. The long shape of the Champagne flute keeps the bubbles more persistent and maintains the freshness of the Champagne. It is visually impressive to have the bubbles floating in the glass. In some old movies like Casablanca, people use the round, shallow Champagne coupe to serve Champagne. Known as “the breasts of Marie Antoinette”, the last queen of France before the French Revolution, the Champagne coupe was popular in the early 20th century. Compared with the flute, the wide opening of the Champagne coupe opens up the Champagne and provides more aromas and nuances of the wine but in the meantime, the bubbles get flat very quickly. The coupe is perfect for old vintage Champagne or the oaky, oxidated style of Champagne. Another choice is the Champagne tulip. Similar to the flute, tulip also has a long shape to preserve the bubbles. It has a wider bowl, so that the Champagne has more room for aeration and better development of flavors and aromas.

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