6 Things You Didn't Know About Champagne (But Should)

Photo: Courtesy of Comité Champagne.
You may be "poppin' corks like fireworks," but are you actually up to speed on the finer points of Champagne consumption? Do your friends cower when you start to open a bottle, for fear of once again being blasted by an airborne cork? Is half the bottle leaking on the counter because you've overpoured? Do your bottles tend to go from fizzy to flat in no time?

Before you reach for that Dom, or, say, decide to pour a $20,000 bottle into the hot tub, take a moment to brush up on your bubbly skills. We reached out to two experts — Françoise Peretti, director of the Champagne Bureau U.K., and head sommelier Julia Oudill of London's Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels — for their expert tips on serving and enjoying the fizzy stuff. For instance, did you know that each muselet (the twisty bit that encases the cork) has six turns? Or that ice and water are more effective at chilling a bottle than the fridge?

Read on for more fun facts and pointers. The only way to celebrate this newfound knowledge is, of course, sipping some champers. Just think of it as an opportunity to perfect your new techniques.
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Photo: Courtesy Comité Champagne.
"Unlike other wines, Champagne has to be kept standing in a cellar. Once the champagne has been bottled, it won't get better. There is no point in keeping a bottle of Champagne for years."
— Julia Oudill
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Photo: Courtesy of Comité Champagne.
"The correct way to serve Champagne is to hold the glass upright; there's no need to slant it. Fill a third of all glasses with Champagne, then top up. Never fill to the rim, though! To keep the cork from flying, hold the cork firmly once the muselet (which has six twists) is off. Twist the bottle, not the cork."
— Françoise Peretti
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Photo: Courtesy of Comité Champagne.
"Even if most Champagne bottles have a deep indent at the bottom of the bottle, it is forbidden to pour it into a glass with your thumb placed in the indent to hold the bottle. However, when serving a magnum, one should serve by placing their thumb in the divot and pouring."
— Julia Oudill
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Photo: Courtesy of Comité Champagne.
"Chilling a bottle of Champagne is easy: Either put it your fridge for three hours, or in a bucket with ice and water. It only takes 30 minutes in ice and water to chill a bottle. Adding water is essential, as it conducts the cold temperature."
— Françoise Peretti
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Photo: Courtesy of Comité Champagne.
"Champagne doesn’t need to ‘breath’ in the way a red wine needs to. However, pouring Champagne in the glass will ‘air’ the wine. A Champagne stopper will keep the wine fresh in the fridge for another 24 hours."
— Françoise Peretti
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Photo: Courtesy of Comité Champagne.
"The old-fashioned 'coupe de Champagne' is claimed to have been modeled on the shape of Madame de Pompadour's breast."
— Julia Oudill
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