Should you fill your glass to the top? 5 expert tips on how best to enjoy your champopo!
From sports stars excitedly foam spraying it from their winner’s podiums to Beyoncé bathing in it in her music video, champagne has long been associated with toasting the good times and celebrating life.
This weekend, Moët & Chandon, one of the most recognisable brands when it comes to bubbly, will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of their signature champagne, the Moët Impérial, with a host of events around the world during their Grand Day celebrations.
Born as Brut Impérial in 1869, Moët Impérial was the name given to the House’s non-vintage brut champagne in homage to the Maison's long-standing relationship with France’s imperial family.
Having proven their mettle with over a century's worth of experience, we spoke to Mike Ellingworth, the Market Manager South Africa for Moët Hennessy, who gave us tips on the best ways to pop and enjoy your champagne.
1. Flute, tulip or a coupe glass? Which one is the best?
Champagne is best enjoyed in a tulip glass. Any other shape will not allow the bubbles and aroma to fully develop. Be sure to hold the glass at the stem to prevent the bubbles burning off from the heat of your hand.
Traditional champagne flutes are perfect for showcasing champagne's stream of bubbles, but their narrow shape limits the drinker's experience of aromas and flavours.
Coupe glasses, on the other hand, create the opposite experience; the glass's extra-wide mouth amply exposes the champagne to the air allowing the bubbles and aromas to escape quickly.
2. Is it okay to fill a glass of champagne to the brim?
At Moët & Chandon, we believe champagne should only fill the glass a third of the way. If the glass is too full, the champagne warms up too quickly.
3. What is the perfect temperature for the perfect taste?
This is dependent on the type of champagne you are drinking. You can either chill your champagne in a bucket of ice for 30 minutes or let it cool in the refrigerator for four hours. Never serve champagne in pre-chilled glasses or put it in the freezer.
4. Once opened, what’s the best way to keep it in the best state?
The bubbles can be preserved for a short time but not completely. You would need an airtight stopper or cork to seal the bottle in the interim.
5. And the best way to store a closed bottle?
Unlike other wines, champagne has to be stored standing up in a cellar. It’s pointless keeping a bottle of champagne for years, because it doesn’t get better with age. It is important to store champagne in a cool, dark place, with minimal temperature variations.
DID YOU KNOW?
From South African Méthode Cap Classique, otherwise known as MCC; to French sparkling wine; to Italian Prosecco, there are a plethora of different types of sparkling wine readily available but the crucial difference is that champagne, such as Moët & Chandon, can only be produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. This is legally protected by the EU and may only refer to wines made according to specific criteria in the Champagne area. That’s what makes champagne so special!