Need an excuse to pop open a bubbly? Tuck yourself in bed with ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS – THE MOVIE! No viewing of the film is complete without Champagne; Edina and Patsy certainly have had their fair share of “pfsst!” (we will get to that later).
Absolutely Fabulous: (C) 2016 Fox Searchlight Pictures / BBC Films
Here are 10 tips so that most of it ends up in your glass, in the best way possible. And what to do when, like Patsy, you’re picking up a windshield washer at the traffic light and can’t finish the bottle…
1. Diamonds Are Forever. Sparkling Wine Is For Now.
The best sparkling wines cannot be improved by storing them. They taste best when they first leave the winery. A bottle of Champagne should generally not be more than a year old to be enjoyed at its best. If you have any bottles left from when AbFab premiered in 1994, they make a perfect gift for Saffy…
2. Chill, Darling!
Sparkling wine and Champagne taste better if they have been chilled sufficiently before opening – ideally overnight. This is when the CO2 binding process is enhanced in bottles. As an alternative, a wine cooler with iced water can be used to achieve the optimum serving temperature relatively quickly. Chilling a premium wine rapidly tends to prevent its full finesse coming through. As a last resort, you can press the SuperCool button on your Liebherr refrigerator and hope for the best. Still better than drinking it warm. No one deserves that, darling.
3. This Wheel’s On Fire: Keep It Safe!
Once you have removed the protective wire basket known as agraffe from over the cork, always keep a thumb on the cork. Do not point the bottle at yourself or others while opening it. The pressure in a Champagne bottle can be four times as high as the air pressure in a car tire. The cork can shoot out of the bottle at up to 51 km per hour! Your face, eyes and other delicate body parts can easily be injured from improper handling of sparkling wine or Champagne bottles.
4. Ro- Ro- Rotate The Bottle Gently…
Most people tend to hold the bottle tight, turning the cork. A pro, on the other hand, holds the cork tight, turning the bottle – it gives better leverage.
5. Hold At An Angle, Sweetie!
Holding the bottle at an angle on opening increases the surface area of the wine in the bottle neck. Pressure can therefore be released with greater ease, minimising any fizzing up of the wine.
6. ‘Pfsst’, Not ‘Pop’
Nothing like the sheer drama or joy of opening a bottle of high-quality sparkling wine with a loud pop! All that foam, too. What a waste though: Even if popping adds to the festive atmosphere, release the cork slowly so that you only hear a faint ‘pfsst’.
7. Tulips, Not Saucers
Champagne saucer glasses, made iconic by Bond films in the 1960s, are really best suited for serving desserts. High-quality sparkling wines should always be drunk from fluted or, even better, tulip-shaped glasses.
8. Clean Glasses: A Key Ingredient
Limescale deposits and impurities inside glasses act as crystallisation points where the dissolved carbon dioxide aggregates. This causes the wine to fizz up excessively and quickly become flat. Always ensure your glasses are clean and polished.
9. Pour At An Angle
Lift glasses and pour the sparkling wine or Champagne at an angle to reduce the loss of dissolved CO2, and to stop fizzing over.
10. Seal The Bottle
Open bottles you want to keep for the next day should be sealed and stored at as low a temperature as possible. If you do not have a special Champagne seal, use a standard wine cork. The ‘sealing’ of a bottle by placing a silver spoon in the bottle neck is cute, but completely pointless!
To enhance your Champagne experience, store your bottles in a Liebherr! We recommend our latest baby, the EWTdf 3553 Dual Zone Built-In Wine Cellar for flexible wine storage. However, we promise not to judge if you decide to check out other models…