Unlike other alcoholic drinks, champagne is known for being rather refined and is complex to drink. While it can be daunting for first-timers to get into the world of champagne, it’s actually far easier than one may expect.
What is Champagne?
Before we dive into the best way to drink champagne, here’s a brief rundown on what champagne actually is. Champagne refers to French sparkling wine, though the exact definition varies depending on where you live. In many countries, people refer to sparkling wine in general as champagne, but in certain places in the EU, you can only label the wine as champagne if it came from France’s Champagne region specifically. You can tell how much the Europeans, and the French, in particular, care for their wine.
How Do You Drink Champagne?
Drinking champagne isn’t as simple as pouring a glass and downing it as you would with a beer. Champagne’s sparkling nature, combined with its various alcoholic and non-alcoholic properties, makes it very complex to taste. Depending on the storage conditions and the way it was consumed, champagne can either taste like the best wine you’ve ever had or just some other sparkling wine. Here are a couple of general tips to keep in mind to ensure you enjoy champagne to the fullest.
Drink Champagne After Dessert
Many champagne and wine sommeliers recommend drinking the wine alongside dessert. Apparently, it is best served during this time as a lighter alternative to dessert wine, an aptly named wine reserved for the end of meals. The lightness of the champagne can prove to be very pronounced especially after dessert, with the rich flavors of the dessert being washed down with the sparkly drink.
You don’t want to be drinking the champagne alone. And by “alone”, we don’t mean “by yourself”, but rather “without food or a meal”. Champagne can be far more complex than you think, especially when paired with other flavors of food. By itself, you won’t get to enjoy the nuanced flavors that come with combining different tastes.
Store the Champagne in a Cool, Dry Area
Champagne may be enjoyable when a little chilled, but it’s best stored in a cool, dry area. As most people don’t own or have access to wine cellars, the ideal location for this would be in an area that has no direct contact with sunlight.
Once you do decide to drink the champagne, you may chill the wine for a while, though it’s best not to leave it in the fridge for too long. If chilled too much, the drink may be too cold to fully enjoy the flavor of the wine.
Use a Flute
Among the different types of wine glasses that you should use, the flute is arguably the best available. Champagne’s sparkling nature works well with the flute, as the top is narrow. This narrow top limits the escape of the bubbles, allowing you to enjoy the wine as bubbly and sparkly as it was when you opened it.
Champagne is a special type of wine that is deserving of its own title. While it may sound like an intimidating name for newcomers, it is essentially just sparkling wine, and as long as you enjoy sips of it through a flute during or right after a meal, you’ll be experiencing its full flavor.