Bubbly basics


Bubbly basics

Before you pop that champagne, make sure you know how to do it right

By Vatsala Chhibber  April 22nd, 2014

Opening a bottle of bubbly requires more prep than merely identifying a reason to celebrate. Elise Losfelt, winemaker at luxury champagne house Moët & Chandon offers a quick checklist to make the most of your ‘chin chin’ sessions.

The bottle: Technically, champagne is only produced in the French region of the same name; everything else qualifies as sparkling wine. Always check the label on the bottle for details, including flavour, which broadly falls into doux (sweet), sec (dry) and brut (extra dry) categories.

The temperature: Losfelt recommends chilling your champagne at a temperature between 8 to 10 degrees Celsius, “In India, since it’s hot during the summers, you should be careful and chill your champagne in an ice bucket so it doesn’t get warm.”

The pop: While opening a champagne bottle ensure you avoid the explosive pop (and a potentially lethal flying cork). Once you remove the top foil and unwind the wire cage, rotate the base of the bottle counterclockwise (while holding the cork), till the bottle releases itself from the cork. You’re releasing the trapped carbon dioxide, hence the bubbles.

The glass: “If you really want to enjoy all the aromas of the champagne, you must drink it in wide wine glass,” recommends Losfelt. Pour the champagne in small quantities (with frequent replenishments, of course) and hold your glass using the stem to maintain its temperature.  

The food: “If you pair champagne with chillies and hot spices you will burn your taste buds and kill the experience,” warns Losfelt. “However Indian food does go well with champagne. For instance, tandoori chicken and lamb complement the Moët & Chandon Rosé. The Moët & Chandon Imperial can be paired with seafood – raw or cooked.”