In the 19th century, Champagne was enjoyed "frappé", or very cold, just a few degrees above freezing, to mitigate the sweetness of the wine. Today, Champagne experts suggest you serve it between 6°C (42°F) and 10°C (50°F). To cool it, plunge the bottle into a Champagne bucket filled with cold water and ice cubes. You can also add a handful of salt to speed up the cooling process.
Contrary to tradition, which suggests we order a coupe of Champagne, this drink is best savored in a tulip-shaped glass, which allows bubbles to develop and aromas to fully express themselves. Opt for crystal, which is finer, smoother and more transparent. Finally, it’s best to hold the glass by its stem so as not to warm up its contents.
The opening of a Champagne bottle is also very ceremonial. First, make sure that the bottle has not been shaken. Begin by removing the metal wire hood by twisting the metal wire loose, removing this at the same time as the cork covering. Afterwards, slightly tip the bottle while holding the cork between the fold of the thumb and index finger, delicately turning the bottle to free up the cork. For this final step, you may also use Champagne pliers.
To give your audience a proper show, you can also saber the Champagne bottle. This practice comes from Napoleon’s cavalry, who celebrated their victories by decapitating the bottles with their sabers. Simply hold the bottle with your whole hand while the other hand slides the saber’s blade flat along the bottle, until the dull side hits the rim. It’s best to use a very cold bottle to avoid having too much pressure, spilling or spraying when opening.
A Champagne bottle can be held in two ways: by its middle with both hands, or by the punt, or indentation, at the bottom. Champagne is served close to the class to limit foaming, but also to create an elegant string of bubbles. Glasses are only filled halfway, and this, two or three times.