The Right Way To Drink Bubbly, According To A Champagne Expert

Most days we're happy to drink bubbly out of a mug, as part of a heated Prosecco Pong match, or straight from the bottle. But, today is Valentine's Day. (Though, no judgements here — in fact, more power to you — if your V-Day plans involve mugs and ping pong balls.) February 14 is one of those rare occasions when we're willing to go outside our typical price range and splurge on a nicer bottle of champagne. And if we're shelling out the bigger bucks, we want know what we're doing when it comes time to actually drink it.
Since there's a lot of mixed information out there about the right way to open, chill, and serve a bottle of bubbly, we turned to an expert for help. Hervé Deschamps is a Cellar Master at Maison Perrier-Jouët, a high-end champagne brand that has been in business for over 200 years. If anyone could help us clear up a few myths and assumptions about the right way to drink a nice bottle, it's someone with over 30 years of experience working in the Champagne region of France. Ahead, Deschamps shares how he would treat a $65 bottle of Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé, but the same tips can be applied to whatever you're drinking tonight.
Opening The Bottle
During celebratory moments, if your first instinct is to saber a bottle or pop it so the cork flies across the room showering everyone with champagne along the way, we get it. But, remember that the booze you splurged on is now being consumed by the floor. According to tradition, your best options is to, "pop the cork of the champagne bottle quietly and safely," says Deschamps. When it comes time to pour, take things slow; "If the champagne is poured incorrectly, it can lose its distinctive bubbly taste, he says. "You should incline the glass to a 45° angle and pour carefully."
If you're willing to invest in proper glassware, Deschamps says stemware is the way to go; "The proper way to hold your glass is by the stem so you don't affect the temperature of the drink," he says.
Chilling & Serving
When it comes to serving champagne it's obviously supposed to be cold, but one thing thing to note is that it should be chilled slowly and not for too long. "At minimum, any champagne should be chilled for up to three hours, but no more than a day in advance, for best enjoyment," says Deschamps. If you want to get really technical, the proper serving temperature is, "around 10-12°C (50-53°F)."
Once It's Open
Here's where things get can get extra fancy. If you have access to an ice bucket (you can always fill your kitchen sink with ice in a pinch), Deschamps suggestions using it to keep the champagne at the right temperature while you're still drinking it. If you plan on slowing cherishing said bottle for an extended period of time, Deschamps uses a tool to keep his bubbly from going flat. "After an hour you might consider using a 'bouchon stoppeur' to reseal the bottle so it doesn’t lose its bubbles," he says.