How to Select, Store, Chill, Open, and Serve Champagne

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Henri’s Reserve Presents: The Perfect Glass of Champagne

The Grand Tasting Soirée includes 4 Blanc de Blancs, 4 Rosés, 4 Blanc de Noirs, food pairing suggestions and tasting notes for your guests.

The perfect glass of Champagne starts with selecting a boutique, single-vineyard Champagne from a sustainable, family-owned estate. Henri’s Reserve expertly curates Champagnes that reflect the terroir of France’s finest private vineyards, the artistry of the winemakers and the legacies of the families behind them. The uniqueness and outstanding quality of these “boutique” Champagnes -both grown and made on organic and biodynamic estates – have made them the darlings of sommeliers and the world’s toughest wine critics.

"The NV Brut Premier Cru Tradition offers up sweet, perfumed fruit in a gorgeous, expressive style that is impossible not to admire. Clean and fragrant throughout, the wine reveals terrific balance and a long, refreshing finish with pretty notes of pineapple, pear and melon that add complexity on the close." Antonio Galloni - The Wine Advocate. $55 at Henri's Reserve.

For your entertaining and gift giving needs, Henri’s Reserve offers a collection of  Champagnes Gifts  $50+, Tasting Sampler Gift Sets $195+, and Champagne Clubs $500+.

Save 10% on purchases through 12/14 using code FGFG.

How to Store, Chill, Open & Serve Champagne (like a pro!)

Champagne is more sensitive to temperature and light than most other wines.  For that reason, it is typically bottled in a light-resistant, dark green glass.  Champagne should be stored between 40 and 60 F and may be kept upright or horizontal.

Ideally, non-vintage Champagnes – those with no year printed on the label – should be chilled to 40-45 degrees to bring out the flavor of the wine. This temperature can be attained by placing the bottle in a refrigerator for a couple of hours or a freezer for 15 minutes.  Finally, the classic way to chill a bottle of Champagne is to place it in an ice-bucket, half filled with ice, half with water, for 20 minutes.

Vintage Champagne should be served slightly warmer, at 54 to 57 F. Colder temperatures stun the taste buds, so you won’t get your money’s worth if you serve ice-cold vintage bubbly.

Opening the Bottle

  1. Remove the foil from the cork (or first, take a picture of the bottle you are about to drink – I know someone who does that every time – could create quite an album!)
  2. Untwist the wire cage and remove it while pointing the bottle away from people and objects since the cork could pop out by itself (might want to build a collection of the special ones!)
  3. Wrap the bottle’s neck and cork in a dish towel (yes, this is how sommeliers do it!)
  4. Angle the bottle away from everyone (no wounds, no holes in ceilings please)
  5. Hold the cork and towel and gently twist the bottle (note: bottle twists – not cork)
  6. Continue twisting the bottle
  7. Slowly ease the cork out of the bottle’s neck (you’ll hear a small pop when it’s out)

Serving Champagne

  • Place the glass on a table, or ask someone to hold it for you.
  • Place your right hand at the base of the bottle with your thumb placed into the depression on the bottom (called the punt) and balance the front of the neck on the side of the glass, supported by your left hand.
  • Try to tilt the glass to its side (if you can). This way, when you pour the champagne, the champagne will hit the side of the glass, reducing the speed at which it hits the base of the glass, thus maintaining the bubbly texture.
  • Pour the wine onto the side of the glass, not onto the base.
    • Wait till the bubbles subside and then continue pouring to fill the glass. This may take up to 4 or 5 pauses in a Champagne flute shaped glass.
  • Twist the bottle as you remove it from the side of the glass to remove any remaining Champagne on the edge of the bottle.
  • Visit Henri’s Reserve for expert tips on Champagne and food pairings.

Flutes per bottle: 5-6

Toasting Trivia: Legend has it that the custom of touching glasses evolved from concerns about poisoning. By one account, clinking glasses together would cause each drink to spill over into the others.

For your entertaining and gift giving needs, Henri’s Reserve offers a collection of  Champagnes Gifts  $50+, Tasting Sampler Gift Sets $195+, and Champagne Clubs $500+. Save 10% on purchases through 12/14 using code FGFG. Need help with a special gift? Email or call Henri’s Gift Concierge Service at or 855.999.8036.

Henri’s Reserve

PO Box 961/Southport, CT 06890

Ring:  203.254.8492 ~ We’re here 8am – 11pm EST ~ If we miss your call drop us an email!


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