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The way in which champagne is drunk can have a huge impact on how pleasurable the experience is. Airflow, temperature, and even the type of glass it’s poured into can all have an effect on the taste of champagne. When sipped with care, a variety of flavors can be discerned and enjoyed.

Keep It Out of the Fridge

This may seem counterintuitive, but the fridge is not the ideal place to store a bottle of champagne. As well as the fact that it removes too much humidity (meaning the cork may dry out, subsequently causing the wine to oxidize), fridges are generally set at a temperature colder than champagne should ideally be served at. For those not lucky enough to have a wine cellar, the best alternative is to simply chill the bottle for around fifteen minutes in a bucket of ice and water before popping the cork.

Allow Champagne to Breathe

Those in the champagne industry, such as Pierre-Mary Bachelet, whose family business has been running for almost one hundred years, know the importance of letting the beverage breathe for a short period before taking a sip to allow the flavors to open up. It’s advisable to allow non-vintage champagne to get some air for a minute or two once poured into a glass to achieve this.

Before taking a sip, swirl the champagne a few times in the glass to add oxygen and help awaken the aromas.

The Right Glass Is Vital

While flutes and coupe glasses may be the most commonly used to serve champagne, neither are the best choice to maximize its flavor. A wide, stemmed, tulip-shaped wine glass is likely to be a great alternative, allowing the champagne to breathe more effectively, therefore concentrating the aromas.

Hold the Glass by the Stem

Holding the bowl of the glass can quickly elevate the temperature of the champagne, so it’s advisable to grip the glass by the stem instead. Unless, however, the champagne has been served at too cold a temperature and a bit of warmth is required.

Don’t Let a Bottle Linger

Champagne swiftly loses its effervescence, so it’s best to drink a bottle quickly once it’s been opened. Alternatively, the bottle can be placed back in the ice bucket and re-corked to help preserve the fizz a little longer.

For information on how to best pair champagne with food, take a look at the embedded PDF.