A bottle of Champagne is perfect for adding some extra sparkle to Christmas Day, and will even help to give your festive dinner an extra dash of luxury.
It’s a vital part of every celebration but, if you aren’t used to drinking or serving Champagne, it isn’t always easy to work out how it should be served and stored.
To help you get everything just right, we’re going to fill you in on some of the Champagne rules you need to follow this holiday season. Follow our advice and you’ll be able to serve the perfect glass of fizz each and every time. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Make sure you buy real Champagne
Prosecco, Asti spumante, and cava might be slightly more affordable alternatives to Champagne. But, Christmas is the season of indulgence, so it’s definitely worth spending a few extra pounds on the real deal at this time of year. It will mark the special occasion perfectly, and your guests are sure to be impressed.
To ensure you’re buying an authentic bottle of bubbly, always check a bottle’s label carefully. This should tell you exactly where the wine came from, down to the vineyard where the grapes were grown. If the bottle you’re looking at came from the Champagne region of northern France, you’re on to a winner.
Choose a Champagne that will pair perfectly with your food
When choosing your fizz, you need to consider what it will be served with. This is because not all Champagnes taste the same, which means some varieties will suit certain foods better than others.
If you’re shopping for a bottle of Champagne that will go perfectly with your traditional Christmas dinner, a cuvée would be ideal, as they’re very rich.
On the other hand, if you’re hosting a party where you plan to serve seafood, lighter varieties like Blanc de Blancs will work best. If you would like to learn more about which champagnes to pair with certain kinds of food, be sure to check out The Spruce’s guide to champagne and sparkling wine pairings.
Learn how Champagne should be served
Ideally, Champagne should be served in a tulip-shaped glass, as this can help to preserve the bubbles, according to Grape Escapes.
You should also try to ensure that your Champagne is chilled to around 7°C, as this will help you and your guests to fully appreciate its taste and smell. You can achieve this by placing your unopened bottle in an ice bucket filled with half ice and half water for 20–30 minutes, or you can put your bottle of bubbly in the fridge for 3–4 hours.
Store your champagne properly
If you stock up on Champagne before Christmas Day, it’s important that you store it properly while you’re waiting for the right moment to open a bottle. Champagne bottles should be stored on their side at around 7–11°C in a cool dark place. Although, if you plan to drink any of your bubbly within the next month, these bottles can be stood upright.
Don’t keep open bottles of champagne for too long
If stored properly, your fizz can still be enjoyed for 3–5 days after opening, according to Gifts International’s guide to how long Champagne lasts. So, if you have some left over, you don’t necessarily have to throw it away — you just have to find another opportunity to serve it.
If Champagne has gone off, you will find that most of its bubbles have disappeared, and it will have an ‘off’ odour as well as a sour taste. You should always check an opened bottle for signs that it’s gone off before you serve it to your friends and family.
Make sure you follow these rules when you’re serving Champagne this Christmas to ensure you pour a perfect glass every time. This way, you should have no trouble appreciating the taste and aromas of every bottle you open.