The holiday season provides a perfect opportunity to sip sparkling wine or champagne. Here are our tips to mastering the art of serving these celebratory elixirs.
Flutes vs. Wine Glasses?
The traditional champagne flute is an iconic symbol of celebration, and there's something delightful about clinking two tall, narrow glasses together. That said, more wine connoisseurs now are choosing a traditional, wider-brimmed wine glass for bubbly, allowing space for swirling and sniffing.
Sparkling wine and champagne should be served quite cool, typically between 45 and 48°F. To achieve this temperature quickly, submerge a bottle in a bucket of ice and water for about 10 to 12 minutes, or chill for 15 minutes in the freezer.
Uncork with care: Sparkling wine and champagnes are bottled under around five to six atmospheres of pressure—three times the pressure in a tire. To uncork, gently twist the bottle while holding the cork steady under your hand. The wire cage, or muselet, can aid this process by creating friction between the cork and your hand.
The Art of the Pour
When pouring, be sure to tip the glass toward the bottle at a 45° angle. This slows the rate at which the sparkling wine hits the glass and prevents an inundation of foam.
Bubbly by the Numbers
Each bottle of sparkling wine holds about six glasses. Guests are likely to sip two glasses in the first hour of a holiday fête and one glass per hour thereafter. If other wines are available, plan on two to three glasses total of sparkling wine per person.
Raise a Glass
The ritual of the wine toast dates back to the sixth century BCE. The ancient Greeks offered wine to the gods, but the host took the first sip to prove a wine was free of poison. Later, it's said the Romans dropped a piece of burnt bread into the glass to temper bad wine; the charcoal would help reduce acidity, particularly in “off” wines, which made them more drinkable. The ritual evolved to wish good health to anyone not present, and has stood the test of time as a hallmark of holiday festivities. To that we say: cheers.
Publix promotes responsible drinking and supports efforts to fight alcohol abuse and underage drinking. Please visit the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility at www.responsibility.org for more information.