Would you like to know the secrets of the Champagne art of living, starting with the service of champagne? You have just toasted with the people around you… and now? How to fully enjoy the tasting of this exceptional wine? Here are some key tips to help you enjoy champagne the way we do in Epernay!
Would you like to know the secrets of the Champagne art of living, starting with the service of champagne? You have just toasted with the people around you... and now? How to fully enjoy the tasting of this exceptional wine? Here are some key tips to help you enjoy champagne the way we do in Epernay!
Champagne is drunk chilled, at 8 or 9°C. You can go up to 10 or even 12°C for certain vintages which blossom better at these temperatures. Beforehand, consider cooling your bottle for a few hours in the least cold parts of your fridge, or plunging it up to the neck in an ice bucket for 30 minutes. This is what will best preserve the qualities of the wine when tasted. Above all, forget about the freezer!
To open a bottle of champagne, you have to tilt it slightly and undo the loop of the cork. You can then remove the wirehood and its cover together, while holding the stopper firmly in your hand. With your other hand, grasp the body of the bottle and twist it to gently release the cap from the neck without letting it escape. If you opened the bottle correctly, you should hear a gentle "spritz", not the famous "pop" that everyone expects! Before serving, remember to taste the champagne to avoid any cork taste.
We often talk about a champagne glass, but the most suitable container is anything but. The ideal way to enjoy champagne is in a tulip-shaped flute, high enough to let the bubbles fizz freely and allow the aromas to express themselves. When it comes to washing glasses, prefer to clean them with hot water, without any product, and let them dry to keep a nice effervescence.
In Champagne, we do not hold the bottle by the neck, but by the base. It's a shot in the arm! Always pour the champagne in several times (usually 2) depending on the size of the glass and the exuberance of the foam. In order to properly release the aromas, make sure to fill the flute to a maximum of two-thirds. The tasting can begin!
Tasting champagne with your 5 senses
That’s it, the champagne is served the right way! Before tasting it, give the wine time to open up a little so that you can see all its richness.
You may not have realized it, but the first of your senses that was solicited during this tasting is hearing. The sound of ice buckets, the “pschitt” or slight pop when the bottle is opened, the lovely crackling or rustling of the bubbles when it is served… In short, let yourself be charmed by the murmur of a sparkling wine.
Then it’s the view’ s turn to play its role. Observe the transparency, effervescence and color of the wine in the glass. A straw yellow or golden blond will give you an indication of the maturity of the wine. Also evaluate the fineness of the bubble strand, an important criterion of champagne quality.
The art of tasting
Before bringing the glass to your mouth for tasting, bring it to your nose! The wines of Champagne are finely aromatic and you may already be able to guess fruity, floral, woody or spicy notes. During the tasting, do not hesitate to repeat this step. Once opened, the wine will reveal deeper, more complex, more precise aromas.
That’s it, it’s time to taste! The appetizer is the highlight of the tasting. Your taste buds will be able to refine the aromas perceived on the nose: red fruits or undergrowth? Citrus or buttered brioche? Trust your palate to savor a roundness or a length in the mouth, a liveliness or a smoothness. The main thing is to enjoy yourself!
Last but not least, the sense of touch, which delicately accompanies the entire tasting. From the shape of the glass you hold between your fingers, to its freshness, to the fineness of the glass on which you place your lips to take a sip of champagne, pay attention to all your senses!
A tasting in the heart of the Champagne region
In Epernay, all the conditions are met to offer you moments of unforgettable tasting. The beauty of the landscape, the passion for wine, the sense of welcome and hospitality… The city’s restaurants and champagne bars offer an exceptional selection of vintages to discover, with wine lists of remarkable richness and quality. You will also have the pleasure of tasting the vintages elaborated by the most prestigious champagne houses or the most talented winemakers, directly at the domain, after a visit of the cellars or the vineyard.
For a tasting in the heart of the Champagne region, Epernay and its villages offer many authentic and unusual activities. Country picnic in the middle of the vineyards, thematic workshop at the property (oenology, food and wine pairing…) or tasting at a height of 150 meters aboard a tethered balloon, the opportunities to live a unique moment and an intense sensory experience are not lacking!