how do you properly pour champagne

The traditional method says you leave the glass totally straight and level on the table and pour directly into it from above. But here’s a key for getting a foam-free (or less foamy) pour: you don’t pour all at once: you “wet” the glass with just a splash of Champagne, allowing the bubbles to settle.
how do you properly pour champagne

Have a large cotton dinner napkin or decorative dish towel on hand to wipe down the bottle if it’s been chilling in ice water—and to help pop the cork without any spillage. Champagne bottles have a pull tab or strip to remove the foil, but it is often easier to use the short knife on a waiter’s corkscrew to cut the foil neatly and remove it.

After dropping serious cash on a special bottle of Champagne for your next big bash—perhaps a glitzy New Year’s Eve party—you’ll want to make sure to get the most out of the experience. Here are our tips for the perfect way to serve your bubbly.

Pour a small amount into your own glass; smell and sip to be sure the bottle is not flawed. (We recommend having a backup bottle just in case. You know it’s going to get opened no matter what!) Fill your guests’ glasses to its widest point, just below where it begins to taper and narrow, and then finish filling your own to the same spot. Place the bottle and remaining Champagne back in the ice bucket, toast the occasion, and enjoy.

Then it’s time to take off the muselet, which is the wire cage that holds the cork in place. Start by pulling out and twisting the “O” ring, or ceinture, counterclockwise until the bottom wire is loosened and gently remove the cage. Fold your cloth napkin in half, grasp the bottle from the base with your nondominant hand, place the napkin over the cork and grip with your dominant hand. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, making sure to point it away from guests and any fragile objects such as glasses, mirrors or windows. Place pressure on the cork through the cloth and gently twist the cork to remove. The sound of the cork releasing from the bottle should be more of a sigh than cannon fire.

The ideal serving temperature for Champagne is between 43° and 48° Fahrenheit, with 45° being the sweet spot. Your refrigerator is a good place to chill your bottle, but allow at least three hours before you pour. If you are using an ice bucket, the bottle must be completely submerged, including the neck, and a mix of half water and half ice will permit full contact with the bottle and more efficient chilling.

How to hold the bottle

There is an art to pouring a glass of Champagne. It is a ritual as important for the enjoyment of the wine as the ceremonious opening of the bottle itself. When pouring from a standard-sized bottle, the classic method is to hold the bottle firmly around the middle as you would any other wine. Alternatively, particularly when pouring from a magnum, cradle the bottle in one hand, with your thumb placed in the punt (the indent in the base of the bottle) and the other fingers closed firmly around the body of the bottle. The other hand meanwhile should lightly clasp the neck of the bottle. A sommelier can do this keeping one hand behind his back, though this is a technique probably best reserved for professionals. Whatever method you use make sure you show off the Grande Marque label so your guests can see this is not just any old Champagne.

Avoid filling the glasses ahead of time or grouping them together on a tray (except when serving a crowd). Hand each guest an empty glass, holding the glass by the stem to avoid warming the wine, and fill each glass in turn. Give every guest your full attention as you do the honours — make them feel as special as the occasion itself.

Another option when pouring a magnum is to use a pouring cradle: two (usually) silver-plated rings with an attached handle, one around the neck and one around the base of the bottle. Larger bottles are best served by tucking the base of the bottle in the crook of one arm, meanwhile supporting the neck with your other hand

Decanting Swizzle sticks were once popular as a means of stirring up Champagne to kill the precious bubbles. Decanting is not quite that bad, but close. It may have looked stylish but it was mainly a device to conceal the identity of the Champagne and smooth out some shortcomings in the taste. Champagne wines these days have nothing to hide and are decanted purely for show. Decanting is part of the art of prolonging the pleasure, pouring the wine slowly and carefully into the decanter so as to give your guests plenty of time to admire the credentials of a great Champagne.

Hold the bottle directly above the glass, pouring carefully to encourage the bubbles to form a ring around the sides (the cordon) and prevent excessive foaming. When serving several guests it’s best to pour a small amount of Champagne into each glass then continue filling by stages, leaving the bubbles to subside between each pouring.

Avoid filling the glasses more than half or two-thirds full but top up as often as required to keep the bubbles dancing in the glass. An empty glass is a sad sight but so too is a glass filled to the brim: “in medio stat virtus”. A half-full glass concentrates the aromas, while an overfilled glass leaves them no room to breathe. It also increases the risk of the Champagne overflowing, causing what little wine is left in the glass to warm up too quickly to allow for a leisurely tasting experience — which as every aficionado knows, is the only way to enjoy Champagne. When serving more than one Champagne at a meal, remember to change the glasses when you change the Champagne and pick your moment carefully. If for instance there is a rosé Champagne to go with the sweet course, hold off pouring the wine until the pudding has been served and your guests have settled down.

In fact timing is crucial when serving Champagne.You want every bottle to be at just the right temperature when the time comes to pour. Drinking a toast with Champagne is a case in point. If possible, pick a moment when the speech is being delivered: not so early that the Champagne loses its chill but early enough to fill all the glasses starting with the speaker’s.

How to Pour Champagne the Right Way


What is the etiquette for pouring Champagne?

Tilting the champagne flute at around a 45-degree angle ensures that the champagne can be gently poured down the glass to slowly pool at the bottom. You should always leave half an inch or so empty at the top of the glass, to make sure that your guests don’t spill the champagne.

What is the correct way to serve Champagne?

Serving Temperature The ideal serving temperature is between 8 and 10 degrees, obtained by leaving the bottle in the lower compartment of the refrigerator for about three hours. The ideal solution is to cool Champagne in an ice bucket for twenty minutes in a mixture of ice, water and salt.

Leave a Comment