How to Store, Chill, Open & Serve Champagne (like a pro!) The perfect glass of Champagne starts with selecting a boutique, single-vineyard Champagne from a sustainable, family-owned estate. Henri’s Reserve expertly curates Champagnes that reflect the terroir of France’s finest private vineyards, the artistry of the winemakers and the legacies of the families behind them. The uniqueness and outstanding quality of these “boutique” Champagnes -both grown and made on organic and biodynamic estates
Henri’s Reserve Grand Tasting Soirée Kit includes: 4 Blanc de Blancs, 4 Rosés, 4 Blanc de Noirs, food pairing suggestions and tasting notes for your guests
Toasting Trivia: Legend has it that the custom of touching glasses evolved from concerns about poisoning. By one account, clinking glasses together would cause each drink to spill over into the others.
Champagne is more sensitive to temperature and light than most other wines. For that reason, it is typically bottled in a light-resistant, dark green glass. Champagne should be stored between 40 and 60 F and may be kept upright or horizontal.
Ideally, non-vintage Champagnes – those with no year printed on the label – should be chilled to 40-45 degrees to bring out the flavor of the wine. This temperature can be attained by placing the bottle in a refrigerator for a couple of hours or a freezer for 15 minutes. Finally, the classic way to chill a bottle of Champagne is to place it in an ice-bucket, half filled with ice, half with water, for 20 minutes.
Vintage Champagne should be served slightly warmer, at 54 to 57 F. Colder temperatures stun the taste buds, so you won’t get your money’s worth if you serve ice-cold vintage bubbly.
Opening the Champagne Bottle
Remove the foil from the cork.
Untwist the wire cage and remove it while pointing the bottle away from people and objects since the cork could pop out by itself.
Wrap the bottle’s neck and cork in a dish towel (yes, this is how sommeliers do it!)
Angle the bottle away from everyone.
Hold the cork and towel and gently twist the bottle.
Continue twisting the bottle.
Slowly ease the cork out of the bottle’s neck .
Place the glass on a table, or ask someone to hold it for you.
Place your right hand at the base of the bottle with your thumb placed into the depression on the bottom (called the punt) and balance the front of the neck on the side of the glass, supported by your left hand.
Try to tilt the glass to its side (if you can). This way, when you pour the champagne, the champagne will hit the side of the glass, reducing the speed at which it hits the base of the glass, thus maintaining the bubbly texture.
Pour the champagne onto the side of the glass, not onto the base.
Wait till the bubbles subside and then continue pouring to fill the glass. This may take up to 4 or 5 pauses in a Champagne flute shaped glass.
Twist the bottle as you remove it from the side of the glass to remove any remaining Champagne on the edge of the bottle.
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Reprinted by permission of Henri’s Reserve