Tips on how to best enjoy your champagne

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Oenologist Wine Quality Manager from French champagne house Moët & Chandon, Amine Ghanem, shares his expert champagne tips.

How long should I keep my champagne before opening it?

Vintage champagne means it was made in a good year – they are great champagnes with a year on the label. The champagne with no year on the label means it’s a blend from different years.

In brilliant years we’re going to have a charismatic champagne, a unique champagne that has a high potential of ageing and this champagne could last 7 – 8 years in your cellar. Non-vintage champagnes should be enjoyed and celebrated as soon as possible and within 1 – 2 years after purchasing.

How can I retain the fizz in the bottle?

Drink it! When you open a bottle of champagne, finish it. You can keep it for the next day if you have a special stopper but not more than one night in the fridge.

Is it sacrilege to cook with champagne?

No. You should be free to enjoy your life and your gastronomy heritage. I cook and make risotto with my champagne because champagne is a great wine and the bubbles will allow us to aerate and to make something different. It’s not a sacrilege – be free, be casual because champagne is something to share and if you want to experience it in another way, why not?

With what can I pair my champagne?

Champagne is such a refined wine so for the non-vintages try to have something smooth and simple like salmon, oysters, green fruits or salads. If you have a Rosé Imperial you can go with beef Carpaccio or strawberries. If you have grande vintages – wines with high structure and high charisma – you can also enjoy it paired with simple but consistent dishes like mushroom or truffle risotto or light meat like quail.

What are your top three tips for enjoying champagne?

1. Make sure you have the real deal

To enjoy champagne first you have to have champagne, not a common sparkling wine. Champagne should come from a small region with very strict production rules and a big history of more than 300 - 400 years of experience that allow us to have this quality and this expression. On the label you should have the word “champagne”. If it doesn’t have the word champagne, it’s not champagne.

2.Chill it

The temperature for serving a non-vintage is between 8 and 10˚C. To make it simple, take your bottle, keep in a bucket of ice for half an hour and it will be good to be enjoyed. Vintages should be drunk at a higher in temperature because the wine will express depth and structure. Keep them for 15 minutes in the ice bucket and serve it.

3. Enjoy it in a good glass

For non-vintages to enjoy the flavours and the bubbles you can have it in a flute. Vintages absolutely we recommend to have it in big or normal white wine glasses