There’s an art to drinking champagne and it applies whatever the occasion. If you want to quaff champagne like an It girl and not chug it like a bar hugger, this is what you need to know.
1. There’s a Way to Hold Your Glass like a Lady
If you want to know how to drink champagne without looking like a cheap gold digger out to snare a millionaire, use the right type of glass for the occasion and know how to hold it. Use a white wine glass, which has a larger bowl than a champagne flute. This enables the sparkling nectar to open up its full flavor and aroma in the glass, allowing you to appreciate fully the complexity of the champagne. Champagne flutes may showcase bubbles to better effect, but a real lady isn't looking for effect, she's looking for substance. Hold the glass by the stem only, or your hands will warm up the champagne and spoil its aroma. Only fill up the glass by one third to allow bubbles to expand; also, a full glass will warm up too quickly.
2. Learn How to Open a Champagne Bottle Correctly
Remember, you're a lady, not a Tour de France winner splashing bystanders with the stuff! Before opening a bottle of champagne, check that the wire cage is still firmly on. The wire helps you to control the direction the cork will take when it emerges from the bottle like a rocket. Hold the top of the cage firmly down with your thumb, which will keep the cork in place, while you're untwisting the wire of the cage, typically six times. Hold on to cork and cage with one hand, using the other hand to twist the bottle's base in a circular motion in the opposite direction of the cork. This will eventually release the cork. Be sure to hold the bottle away from innocent bystanders. Twist the bottle instead of the cork, and you can remove the cork far more gently and have greater control over the cork's trajectory.
3. There’s a Correct Way to Store Champagne
Where you store your champagne depends on how soon you plan to drink it. If your plan is to surprise a loved one with a romantic candlelight dinner within a few days of purchasing your bottle of champagne (say 3 to 4 days), you can store the bottle in your fridge. However, leaving it there for any length of time will dry out the cork, since refrigerators don't have humidity to keep the cork moist. While the cork dries out, the seal that exists between cork and bottle gets looser. This will result in the champagne oxidizing sooner, which means it will change its aroma. Store champagne you mean to keep for longer periods in a cool place, away from light sources, leaving it in a place in your home where the temperature is consistent, such as a basement for example.
4. You Should Serve Champagne at the Ideal Temperature
Knowing how to drink champagne like a lady also means knowing what temperature to serve the bubbly at. The ideal temperature can be achieved by filling an ice bucket with ice cubes and one-third of water, allowing your champagne bottle to chill for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Save the Bubbles by Using a Stopper between Pours
Using a stopper between pours prevents champagne from losing all those sexy bubbles. With a stopper your champagne will remain fresh for about 24 hours, allowing you to treat yourself to another sparkling aperitif the following day.
6. Know Your Food and Champagne Pairings
Knowing how to drink champagne isn't enough to make you stand out as the most genteel hostess. A real lady knows which drink goes best with certain food stuffs. Champagne is a brilliant aperitif, but can also be paired with fish, seafood like oysters or caviar, poultry, grilled vegetables and Italian risotto. Oh, ands let’s not forget the magically romantic pairing of strawberries and champers.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment with Different Vintages and Brands
It may take you a while before you'll find your favorite champagne; every brand of champagne tastes different and is a culinary adventure that has become far less expensive since supermarkets began to offer better quality bubbly. Celebrate special occasions in style with a vintage bottle from a wine merchant or sip a champagne aperitif that came with a two-for-one offer at your local grocery store - the main thing is to enjoy the experience, once you have learned how to drink champagne. Dress up in your Sunday best, flirt like hell and if bubbly makes you too giggly, lean on the arm of a real gentleman to steady you.
Champagne isn’t just a drink, it’s a lifestyle. And like anything in life worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Do you like a drop of bubbly or is it for weddings and occasions only?