Christmas is the perfect excuse to open a bottle of Champagne and celebrate the year in style with loved ones.Â The Champagne Information Bureau has compiled a list of top tips and dispelled some myths on how to serve and enjoy the ultimate luxurious drink this festive season:
- Quantity – a bottle of Champagne serves about seven Champagne flutes.Â When served as an aperitif, allow one bottle for every three or four guests, but at a meal, serve one bottle for every two or three.
- Temperature – Champagne takes around three hours to chill in the fridge.Â For a quicker result, place the bottle in a bucket filled with equal parts ice and water.Â This takes about thirty minutes. Â Never put Champagne bottles in the freezer as it will dumb down the aroma and flavours.
- Open â€“ Be brave!Â Slant the bottle at a 45 degree angle away from guests.Â Untwist (exactly six half turns) and remove the wire muzzle.Â Grasp the cork firmly with thumb and forefinger and twist the bottle slowly letting the pressure help to push the cork out.Â It should sigh rather than pop.
- Serve – Champagne is best served in a tulip-shaped glass or a flute.Â Do not serve in a saucer-shaped glass as the aroma and bubbles will disperse.Â Serve by holding the glass upright.Â Pour a small quantity of Champagne in the glass and allow it to settle before filling two-thirds full.
- Enjoy â€“ hold the glass by the stem or even better at the base to avoid warming the drink.Â Between glasses, store the opened bottle of Champagne in an ice bucket for no more than three hours.Â Contrary to popular belief, a silver spoon placed in the neck of an open bottle does not prevent the Champagne going flat.
- Store â€“ keep un-opened Champagne horizontally in a cool, dark place away from heat, light and severe temperature variations.
Francoise Peretti, Director of the Champagne Information Bureau, says, “Donâ€™t be Champagne shy this Christmas!Â Make sure you look around for different styles and brands â€“ there is a wide diversity of Champagne which will suit your occasion. Year-end celebrations are a great time to experiment and explore.â€