Champagne is one of those wine types everyone must have. Finding a reason to celebrate is easy enough, what with all the holidays and different events, not to mention your own personal achievements and joys.
Whatever reason you may have to serve Champagne there’s a lot of tips and tricks on how to store Champagne the proper way. Rest assured, opening a bottle of Champagne and not bathing everybody in it while you’re struggling to bullseye the glasses is easy enough. What’s interesting is what happens before and after that.
How to store Champagne bottles before opening them
You might know that the proper way to store red, white or sparkling wine is on the side. This prevents the label and the cork from drying and potentially ruining the wine. You might also know that you need a cool, very dark and relatively humid place with a very small to non-existant temperature fluctuation.
If you know that you’re already on the right track. Champagne should be stored at a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature can go up or down a notch but, as you know, too much in either direction will gracefully ruin your wine.
Since Champagne is already properly aged when you’re first buying it there’s really no reason to keep it for years. Getting a fresh bottle of sparkling wine is by far easier and less time consuming. Even so you can still store most bottles for more than 2 years.
How to open a bottle of Champagne without breaking somebody’s nose
Before we get started please remember to refrigerate Champagne before you intend to use it. However don’t keep it there for more than 2 days. If something happens and the party date is changed than just go back to normal sparkling wine storage. By the way, in case you have Cava instead of normal Champagne be sure to freeze (yes, in the freezer) the wine bottle, as well as the glasses for 30 minutes before serving.
I’m sure that everyone knows how to do this properly but I just want to be on the safe side. I think it’s all right to assume that a loud pop and flying bubbles of sweet goodness is not what your guests have in mind for a party. Besides, it’s not good for the sparkling wine either.
After you have removed the outer foil you need to slowly remove the cage (the wiry thing). Keep your eyes open and your thumb on the cork at all times because disaster might spur at any moment. The cork can come out by itself which is good because it would save you some time and trouble.
Now wrap a towel around the bottle head and aim at the person you dislike the most as if to give them the impression that it’s payback time. Now’s the tricky part. Hold the cork with a strong hand and gently rock the cork back and forth, or wiggle the bottom of the bottle. Take care not to pull the cork at all. The cork should come out with a low sigh of relaxation.
Pouring and Serving Sparkling Wine
Champagne is all about the bubbles, and in order to preserve them longer the proper glass to serve sparkling wine in is the champagne flute. The glass is actually smoother, taller and has a smaller mouth compared to normal wine glasses (less exposure to air translates into less evaporated bubbles per minute).
To pour champagne like you know what you’re doing slowly pour it down the glass side. When it starts to close in on the 3/4ths mark start raising and rotating the wine bottle. If you do it right there shouldn’t be any drips.
How to store Champagne after you open it
Putting the cork back in the bottle is easy enough. Making it stay there is another topic entirely. There’s lots of recommended tricks that involve putting a special pressure cap and even crazy ideas such as driving all the air out of the bottle, somehow pumping carbon dioxide instead and then placing a metal spoon in the bottle neck, etc.
If you’re into being fancy and overly tedious with sparkling wine these are all great ideas. To be sure, if you can get a special pressure-cap it’s all good. Or you can just leave it in it’s original upright position on the fridge door. Maybe you won’t believe it at first but just forgetting about the bottle is going to work as well as everything else.
Of course, if you decide to really forget about it for more than a few days you might find the bottle a little indisposed for your next celebration. As with any wine type, so long as you don’t completely forget about it it’s going to be happy to please you once again.
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