Champagne is not just a drink of celebration. The sparkling sensation is appropriate for any occasion. So whether you’re going to be serving it at your Christmas dinner, partaking in it at your annual New Year’s Eve party, or simply enjoying it with friends on a quiet evening, Vinfolio has champagne to offer for every occasion. We’re also here to help guide you through the proper etiquette to store, open, consume, and enjoy the bubbly.
Store It Cool, Serve It Cooler
First off, as with all fine wine, it’s important to handle your champagne correctly before you ever open the bottle. Champagne should be stored between 50 to 55 degrees in a humid environment. The bottle should be placed on its side to prevent the cork from drying out and ruining the champagne. When it comes to serving champagne, people often serve it much too cold, ruining the bubbles and leaving you with less aroma. Champagne is ideally served between 44 to 48 degrees., leaving you with abundant scents and flavors.
Don’t Pop It!
Popping the cork is always a dramatic and fun way to open a bottle of champagne. Of course, always be careful as to where you’re aiming when you do this. The issue with opening this way though is that it can get messy and you can lose a lot of the champagne and be left with a sticky floor. The best way to open a bottle is as follows: set it on a surface, remove the foil covering, untwist and remove the metal cage wire, keep a hand over the cork so it doesn’t unexpectedly fly off and potentially hurt someone, twist the bottle not the cork, and wait until you hear the sigh of the cork releasing from the bottle. By using this method, you will avoid loss of bubbles, champagne, (maybe a little fun), and gain a better tasting experience. After the bubbly has been opened, store it in a metal bucket with half ice and half water. This will keep it at the cool serving temperature.
The Classic Mistake
Once the bottle has been opened and ready to serve, we advise to not pour it into the traditional flute glass. They make the champagne look nice, but these glasses cause for less aroma. The coupe glasses also create problems for the champagne, as the large width of the glass causes the bubbles to disappear too fast and once again you’re left with less aroma. The best glass for serving champagne would be one with a tulip shape. It expands in the middle of the glass and has a smaller width at the top. It is the glass that produces the most bubbles, fine scents on the nose, and crisp, refreshing flavors.
Set It, Don’t Swirl It
Swirling your champagne is an easy way to let your friends know you are an inexperienced champagne drinker – so don’t do it. You may want to do it out of habit from swirling wine, but sparkling wine is different. Swirling causes the bubbles to release and you will be left with a flat champagne. After pouring the champagne slowly down the side of the glass and not creating too much foam, let it sit for a few minutes. Test it on the nose and sip for taste, but no swirling.
Pair It Like a Pro
You may have wondered, when is the best time to serve champagne? Before, during, or after dinner? Although it is mostly based on preference, we can suggest that perhaps you serve it before or during dinner, but not with dessert. The sweetness of a dessert and champagne combined can ruin the flavors of the sparkling wine and create a poor experience. If serving before dinner, champagne pairs wonderfully with cheeses and other salty appetizers. It is always delicious during dinner as well, as it does go well with meat, seafood, creamy pasta dishes, etc. The acidity cuts into the fattiness of the foods, creating a fantastic balance.
So you’re dinner party is over and midnight has come and gone on New Year’s Eve, but you still have half a bottle of champagne leftover. Can you store it? Yes! But only for a few days to a week. Simply purchase a bottle stopper for it and you keep the bottle in the fridge. The champagne can stay good for a while, but of course the less time it spends chilled and half-full, the better.
Let Us Help
If you need suggestions which champagnes you want for the holidays check out Vinfolio’s Holiday Champagne Guide. Whether you need something now, or by Christmas, or if there is no rush, we have some of the most exquisite champagnes available to browse and buy this holiday season.
The holidays have arrived and it’s that time of the year when you have to start thinking about gift giving. Still don’t know what to give your friend that’s a wine lover or collector? Here are some great suggestions to get you started.
A BOTTLE MATCHED PERFECTLY TO THE COLLECTOR
As a wine gift, there’s nothing like the simplest gift of them all: a beautiful bottle of wine. Vinfolio is here to recommend the ideal wine for your friends, whether they be collectors, connoisseurs, or just someone who occasionally enjoys a fine wine. This year’s wine gift guide offers suggestions for each of one of them. Give them a wine from one of our collections and you’ll make an outstanding impression at your next holiday soirée.
Whether you’re a new wine aficionado or a seasoned collector, these five picks – three reference guides and two “just for fun” books – are a great starting point for building a wine library. If you’ve been bitten by the wine bug, reading about wine can be just fun as drinking it! (Okay, almost.) Any other must-have titles you recommend? Leave us your essential reading lists in the comments below and be entered to win a copy of “The World Atlas of Wine”!
Digital Provenance: How Wine Bottles Will Be Tracked Using Bitcoin
Bitcoin is going to revolutionize the way that wine provenance is understood in the digital age. Imagine a world in which you hold ownership of both a physical bottle of wine and a unique digital record that verifies exactly who owned the bottle of wine before you – traceable all the way back to the original producer. Bitcoin has created a platform that enables digital asset transfers across the internet. The wine industry is now presented with the opportunity to leverage an emerging technology to make digital provenance a reality. By associating each physical asset (a wine bottle) with a digital asset (a minuscule fraction of a bitcoin), one can create a traceable, pseudo-anonymous, decentralized, permanent historical archive of wine transactions.
Truly passionate wine lovers know that tasting wine involves all the senses. A beautiful glass of wine can pair well with innovative architecture, eye-catching vistas, relaxing accommodations, and of course, first class food, so we’re bringing you seven of our favorite wineries where tasting is an experience to behold. We know there are dozens of stunning wineries out there to see, so if we missed your personal favorite, give us your recommendation in the comments below!
Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (Pauillac, Bordeaux, France)
One of Bordeaux’s jewels, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild received “first growth” status in 1973. A tasting here is not simply a tasting – it’s an event. The tour begins with a short film on the history of the estate, and continues with a stroll through an elegantly designed, state-of-the-art vat room, Grand Chai (Great Barrel Hall – designed by architect Charles Siclis), and private museum of carefully curated wine artifacts, culminating in a tasting of several of their world-famous wines.
Opus One (Oakville, Napa Valley, USA)
A collaboration between the Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi, this winery was founded in 1980 and merges old and new world styles into a harmonious Magnum Opus. The iconic winery, designed by Scott Johnson, has beautifully sculptural archways, halls of classic French-style furniture mixed with more contemporary pieces, and a stunning semi-circular barrel room (if one can call a chai “stunning”, this one is!), not to mention the wonderful view of the vineyards from the terrace. The tasting room itself is quite intimate, but just the right atmosphere for enjoying a glass of their ultra-premium wines.
Storing your wine in a locker is not the bargain that you might think. There are many people in the wine collecting community that have chosen to store their wine in self-service wine locker facilities, as shown by the rise in recent years of ‘do-it-yourself’ locations popping up across the U.S. These are often viewed as the most-cost effective way to store your wine collection. But what collectors often fail to take into consideration are three major factors that, in the end, can cost them far more each year than storing with a full-service wine storage operation.