How to Serve Sparkling Wine
When it comes to celebration, what beverage comes to your mind? Probably sparkling wine. Everything from New Year’s celebrations and proms to weddings, birthdays and romantic evenings out, there is no better way to be more romantic or celebratory than opening a bottle of bubbly. Just make sure you don’t call it “Champagne” just because it sparkles. Many don’t know, but the only sparkling wine in the world that can be labelled “champagne” are those made in the region of France. Sparkling wine made elsewhere can come with different labels including Prosecco, Spumante, Cava and Asti.
Another thing many don’t know about bubbles wine is that it isn’t only a sweet, carbonated beverage. Sparkline wines have a lot more to offer than a “one size fits all” flavour. Considering that sparkling wine can be made from almost any grape variety, this leads to endless possibilities that include white, rose, and even sparkling red wines. Unlike traditional wines which flavours are determined by the essence of the grape, sparkling wines are categorized based on their sweetness and body. Sparkling wine ranges from Extra Brut to Doux, based entirely on the amount of sugar the beverage has.
- Extra Brut – less than 6gr/L
- Brut – less than 12gr/L
- Extra Dry – between 12-17 gr/L
- Sec – between 17-32 gr/L
- Demi Sec – between 32-50 gr/L
- Doux – 50 gr/L or above
In addition to sweetness, most sparkling wines available on the market today feature flavours of citrus, pear, strawberry and apple. Another common mistake people make with bubbly is serving it wrong. Ensuring that sparkling wine is properly served can greatly enhance the drinking experience.
How Do You Properly Serve Sparkling Wine?
At first, you may think that it’s a lot to remember, but in no time, you’ll not only be impressing your guests but also making the most out of your fine beverage with our tips.
The Perfect Temperature
It’s very important that you plan ahead to ensure that your bubbles wine is just at the right temperature when serving it. Serving sparkling wine that is too warm will create an excess of foam and the wine will be alcohol-heavy on the palate. On the other hand, a sparkling wine that is too cold will lack depth and will bury the flavours.
Different sparkling wines are best served at different temperatures. For example, Bruts should be served around 8°C while Cuvees are best enjoyed at a few degrees more. To ensure that the wine stays at the right temperature, there are plenty of solutions you can use including buckets, sleeves or simply putting it back into the fridge.
The Perfect Glass
Glasses with a large surface were once used to serve sparkling wine. This was until it was discovered that this type of glass caused the bouquet substances and the effervescence of the wine to evaporate too quickly. Since then, large glasses were replaced with thin, tall glasses called flutes. Today, sparkling wine’s qualities are better noticed in tall slender and elegant glasses. Filling the glass up to 2/3 are known to be ideal for the characteristics of the wine to develop. You also need to pay attention to how you clean the glasses. You shouldn’t use detergents to wash up the glasses because a fine film can be formed on the glass surface – this is the biggest enemy of fizzing. For best results, before serving, wash the glass in water and wipe with a clean cloth that doesn’t leave fibres behind.
The Perfect Pair
It’s important that you understand that sparkling wine isn’t meant to be aged. That is because it is aged to perfection before it can be sold. This means, when you buy a sparkling wine, it’s safe to assume that it is at its peak of aging. So, keep in mind that aging your sparkling wine will not make it any better.
Now, let’s talk about pairing. While sparkling wine is known mainly for its sipping quality, its acidity makes it great for food pairing as well. The best paring options include lightly coloured items like seafood and cream-based sauces. The subtle and slightly sweet flavours of most seafood pair beautifully with the dry sweetness of sparkling wines while the rich cream in certain sauces plays well with a sparkling wine’s sweetness contrast. Moreover, pretty much any Asian dish can be complemented by sparkling wine. When it comes to cheese, Brie is a good option.
How to Keep Sparkling Wine Fizzy?
No one enjoys drinking a flat sparkling wine. But once the cork is out, how to keep things effervescent? There are some tested methods you may want to try. One of them is to put a silver spoon in the neck of the bottle. This traditional method has shown that it doesn’t make a difference in the slightest. The second is to use a champagne stopper. These closures clamp onto the top of the bottle, keeping the fizz in.