Enjoy a glass of your favourite bubbly with these expert serving tips
Photography by James Tse
First published in Wish Winter 2004
Sparkling wine should be served and chilled about 7 C. Keep your bubbly in the fridge before serving, or cool it down in a bucket of ice cubes and water for a minimum of 20 minutes. Do not put it in the freezer.
To prevent the cork from hitting the ceiling and wine spraying on your guests, carefully remove the foil and the cage. Keep a thumb on the cork while doing this, because it can sometimes release prematurely. Place a napkin or tea towel over the cork, hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, and slowly twist the bottle.
Serve sparkling wine in champagne flutes or tulip glasses, which are designed to enhance the stream of bubbles and concentrate the aromas. Crystal glassware is ideal because it has a rough finish, which allows more bubbles to form on top. To avoid spilling over the top of the glass, pour slowly, letting the wine settle before topping up.
Wines come in a variety of sizes, from magnums (1.5 L) to the traditional size (750 ml) to single-serving splits (250 ml). Don't open a bottle of bubbly and feel you have to finish it all at once. Use a champagne stopper to seal your bottle, which can then last in the fridge for up to a week.
The Morning After
The bubbles put alcohol into your bloodstream more quickly than other wines and spirits. Sip your champagne slowly. If you're feeling sluggish the next day, take a dose of vitamin C, try a hangover helper, hit the shower, and go back to bed.