The Proper Pour

the-proper-pour

Champagne is a drink that works in multiple scenarios. Whether celebrating with a group of friends or having an intimate evening with a special someone, champagne is a fine choice. Pouring champagne is something of an art, but it is one that can be easily mastered with the right information. Here is a quick guide to how to properly pour a glass of champagne.

Chill the Bottle.  Pouring champagne begins long before you are ready to open the bottle. To start off on the right foot, make sure that you chill your champagne. Place the bottle in ice in a wine bucket for roughly an hour or two. If you don’t have a wine bucket, you can achieve the same effect by allowing the bottle to chill in the fridge for a few hours.

Wrap the Bottle.  There is more to wrapping the bottle of champagne in a napkin than just style. The practical reasoning behind this is that it will absorb condensation, allowing for an easier grip on the bottle, and soak up any loose drops of bubbly that slip past the glass. A tea towel is your best bet, as it will absorb the most loose liquid, but you can still substitute a linen napkin in a pinch.

Pop It Open.  Perhaps the most exciting part of the process is opening the bottle. There is a sense of electric anticipation as you unwrap the foil and prepare to push the cork from its tight hold in the mouth of the bottle. During this, be sure to hold your hand over the cork. Some bottles can be tricky, and the cork can pop all on its own. To avoid injury or accident, keep one hand over the cork, pointed away from anyone’s face or any nearby glass.

The Pour.  The real artistry of serving champagne exists in the moment of the pour. Do not pour champagne with one hand and hold a glass in another, as it can easily slip without proper support from both hands. Instead, pour into glasses on a stable surface, or in the hands of those you are serving. When you pour, you want to hold the bottle in two spots: one hand should go on the bottom of the bottle, where the indented area known as the punt resides, and the other should hold the bottle from the side as you tilt.

There are many opinions out there on how to properly pour a glass of champagne. The more widespread opinion is that you should keep the glass flat and pour the bottle from an angle, aiming directly for the base of the glass. This is the way that the French have been pouring champagne for years. Since it is the country where the drink originates, no one thought twice about questioning the method. Still, questioning the status quo can be beneficial, as some French researchers discovered.

While the traditional method might be the popularized approach, the researchers discovered that there is a much more scientific way to go about pouring a glass of champagne. When pouring, champagne is handled in the same manner as pouring a glass of beer, with the glass itself on an angle as it is being filled, more CO2 is preserved. Carbonation is quite important in maximizing the pleasure of champagne, so you want to have high levels of CO2 in each glass. The “beer pour” tactic might not be as widespread as the traditional methods, but it is a way that will allow you a much more satisfying amount of champagne that you can raise a glass to.

Food and Champagne

what-type-of-food-goes-best-with-champagneChampagne is a type of sparkling wine whose red pinot noir grapes and green chardonnay grapes come from the Champagne region of France.

Best Food and Champagne Pairings 

Because the taste of champagne can vary so much based on the grapes used, secondary fermentation process and the champagne’s age or exposure to light over time, champagne can quite successfully be paired with an array of foods.

MV Moet & Chandon Imperial and Oyster 

For instance, MV Moet & Chandon Imperial is more of a sweet champagne that has elements of apple and pear. This can, therefore, make a good pairing with an evening dinner of oyster or other kind of salty seafood.

NV Pol Roger Brut Reserve and Grilled Chicken 

To illustrate the point that the fruitiness or nuttiness of a particular type of champagne largely dictates the food pairing, consider NV Pol Roger Brut Reserve. This champagne has more of a smooth, creamy taste and goes best with grilled chicken with a zesty sauce.

As with all champagnes, MV Moet & Chandon Imperial included, you will always want to store your champagne in a relatively cool area that has some protection from bright light.

This is why the idea of a wine cellar really makes sense – it’s a cool and dark and perfect for storing champagne or sparkling wine. Keeping your sparkling wine or champagne in this kind of environment ensures that the carbonation and fizzy from secondary fermentation stays part of the champagne.

NV Bollinger Special Cuvee and Deviled Eggs 

NV Bollinger Special Cuvee is another fairly affordable champagne whose taste and smoothness dictates a bold food pairing. That is, NV Bollinger Special Cuvee is a rich champagne with a smooth finish and therefore goes best with a punchy food pairing. Many recommend coupling NV Bollinger Special Cuvee with deviled eggs and a spicy sauce of your choosing.

Champagne’s Aging Process 

The champagne you eventually sip has spent many years aging in a wine cellar.  The process of actually aging the champagne is largely over by the time you pick it up at the store. Once you make the purchase and get ready to enjoy your champagne, the name of the game is really maintaining the natural fizziness and taste.

To best achieve this, store your champagne in a cool, dry place that has some protection from light. A wine cellar that stays at around 45 to 55 degrees is ideal. Under these conditions you could expect a brut to last as much as five years and a cuvee to last perhaps ten years. If you don’t have the benefit of a wine cellar, you can pull off similar results by storing your wine in a cool place that’s relatively cool and not prone to large temperature fluctuations (e.g., a cabinet in a lower floor).

In lieu of storing champagne, you might just want to enjoy it near the time of purchase. Especially if the champagne is vintage, it’s already been aged and ready to be paired with your favorite dishes.

More Champagne Food Pairing Ideas 

Speaking of high-end champagnes, a lot of people want to know what goes best with Don Perignon. Don Perignon is a smooth, vintage champagne that comes from Moet & Chandon. Due to the smooth finish and hints of fruity flavors like apricot, Don Perignon is best paired with seafood such as smoked trout and some kind of nutty flavor like toast.

The vintage and taste of the champagne largely dictates the food pairing. That said, store your champagne intelligently to get the most out of it. Or just enjoy it right away!