8 Ways You’re Drinking Champagne Wrong

Photographed by Ben Rayner.
With New Year's Eve right around the corner (how did it get to be 2016 already?!), we are getting ready to break out the bubbly. But since it's been a year since we've popped bottles at home (we can't all be Beyoncé pouring out expensive Champagne in a hot tub), we're brushing up on our Champagne popping, pouring, and serving skills. Here are eight ways you could goof (and we've goofed, in the past!) when it comes to indulging in a glass of the fizzy stuff. 1. You Chill It Over Ice
You're halfway there. Chilling Champagne in an ice bucket is effective, but only if you fill the bucket with ice and water, which allows you to submerge more of the bottle into it. If it's stuck into a bunch of ice, just the bottom of the bottle is getting cold and the whole process takes much longer. 2. You Store It Standing Up
It seems like you should store Champagne standing up to help keep it from exploding when you open it, but you're actually increasing your risk of a bottle blowup. If the cork dries out while the bottle is standing it could actually release, causing a sticky, boozy mess. 3. You Think You Have To Drink It In A Flute
Any glass with a stem is fine! The flute is only important so you're not accidentally warming up the drink with your hand. 4. You Don’t Drink It With A Sugar Cube
Sure, a glass of Champagne is perfect as is, but if you've never tried a Champagne cocktail you're missing out. Just drop a sugar cube into your flute, add a dash of bitters, and voilà — you've got a fancy cocktail.

5. You Only Drink Champagne
Champagne is great and all, but France isn't the only country that makes bubbly worth drinking. There's prosecco from Italy, cava from Spain, and even Napa gets in on the sparkling-wine game. Plus, prosecco, cava, and other sparkling wines tend to be cheaper than classic Champagne, but in our opinion are just as worthy of a New Year's toast. 6. You Spray Every Time You Open A Bottle
Yes, it's fun to spray Champagne everywhere once in a while. But if you think about the fact that you're making a huge mess and pretty much spraying money on the floor, you might be more motivated to open your next bottle without spillage. For less messy results, hold a dish towel over the cork and use it to SLOWLY twist the cork until it pops out, mess-free. 7. You Think You Have To Throw Away Any Leftover Open Bottles
Are you ever left with half-full bottles at the end of a party? Yes, it's effervescent, but if you buy bottle stoppers your extra bubbly will actually stay good in the fridge for a couple more days. So don't go pouring it out prematurely!

8. You Swirl It
We're supposed to swirl wine, but trust us, swirling your Champagne will make you look like a newbie. Plus, it will actually make your glass lose its effervescence faster!

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