Four simple things that make a huge difference to how champagne tastes
Splashed out on genuine champagne? Buying a bottle of the real deal can be pricey, so you will want to ensure you get the most enjoyment out of every sip. Amine Ghanem, oenologist wine quality manager at the luxury French champagne house Moët & Chandon, shares four simple tips to help you do just that:
1. DRINK IT AT THE RIGHT TIME
Vintage champagnes are charismatic and unique champagnes that were made in a good year — you'll see the date on the label. If there's no date on the label, it means the champagne is non-vintage and is a blend of wines from different years.
Non-vintage champagnes should be enjoyed as soon as possible, and definitely within one to two years after purchasing. Vintage champagnes have a high potential of ageing well and could last for seven to eight years in your cellar.
What's the difference?
Methode Cap Classique (MCC) is the South African version of champagne. In order to be called champagne, a bubbly must be produced in the Champagne region of France.
2. SERVE IT AT THE PERFECT TEMPERATURE
Non-vintage champagne should be served at a temperature of between 8˚C and 10˚C. To bring a bottle to the right temperature, place it in a bucket of ice for half an hour before serving.
Vintage champagnes should be drunk at a higher temperature because the wine will express depth and structure. Place them in a bucket of ice for 15 minutes before serving.
3. PICK THE RIGHT GLASS
To enjoy the flavours and bubbles of a non-vintage champagne, serve it in a flute.
We recommend serving vintage champagne in big or normal white wine glasses.
4. FINISH THE BOTTLE
When you open a bottle of champagne, finish it. You can retain the fizz if you have a special stopper, but don't keep it in the fridge for more than one night.