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Champagne Tips for Summer Entertaining With The Champagne Dame

HerCanberra Team

Summer in Australia is synonymous with soirées, endless functions and of course end of year celebrations.

Our diaries are full and, more often than not, so are our glasses. But we need to sail through this social period with grace, so I am offering up some of my best advice for etiquette when it comes to drinking champagne.

ChampagneDame1

Kyla Kirkpatrick – The Champagne Dame

Top Five Etiquette Tips

  1. Try to serve your guests the tulip flute. This shape is best for champagne service. The long test tube-shaped flute is not ideal for champagne service as there is nowhere for the aroma to gather and, when you are drinking champagne, you want to enjoy the full bouquet as this is one of its best features! No stemless flutes please.
  2. Always hold your flute by the stem of the glass. You don’t want to change the temperature of your champagne by holding it by the bulb (and we don’t want grubby finger prints on our glasses!)
  3. If you need to chill the champagne quickly before guests arrive, don’t put it in the freezer. Make a slushy with ice and water and add some salt to help chill the champagne more quickly.
  4. When you are opening the champagne bottle remember that a gentle sigh is what we want with the cork. And don’t forget that the cork can come out at 40km per hour so don’t take your hand off the cork when opening and don’t point the bottle at anyone! Fact: most cork injuries occur over the end of year period.
  5. When pouring champagne remember to have the label of the bottle facing up out of respect to the winemaker and the champagne house. Pour the ladies first of course and then the gentlemen. Time old traditions should be respected sometimes! And less is more – keep topping up guests’ flutes, don’t overfill them so that the champagne gets warm.

Top Five Champagne Pairing Tips

  1. Champagne is certainly a great wine that can be served for all meals. Rosé champagne in particular is the most versatile of all the champagnes and can be enjoyed from breakfast, with red-berry pastries or cheese soufflé, right through to lunch with chicken sandwiches or with roast duck pancakes as a post-racing snack.
  2. Cheese doesn’t always pair perfectly with champagne but if you are going to match them try a Comte cheese with a vintage champagne or a low dosage, dry champagne with a Parmesan cheese.
  3. A vintage champagne (it has the year on the bottle) spends more time in the winemaker’s cellar in France and will have more weight, body and more complex aromas. This will partner better with more full-bodied dishes.
  4. Champagne is quite delicate in weight and aroma and generally doesn’t pair well with spicy food so avoid chili, strong Indian or Thai spices.
  5. When serving champagne with food you can serve it a few degrees warmer (10 to 12 degrees in temperature) as it will help to unlock some of its fabulous aromas which will better compliment the food. Younger champagnes (Non Vintage “NV” Champagnes) are to be served cooler to show off their freshness; somewhere between 6 and 8 degrees.

Top Five Champagnes to Look Out for this summer

  1. Blanc de Blancs – Delamotte Blanc de Blancs NV
  2. Non Vintage – Pol Roger Non Vintage Brut Reserve
  3. Vintage – Bollinger La Grand Annee 2004
  4. Rosé – Billecart Salmon Rose
  5. Prestige Cuvée – Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blanc 2002 (my favorite champagne!!)

Article written on behalf of Her Canberra by Kyla Kirkpatrick – The Champagne Dame. Kyla is a champagne advocate and ambassador and has been presenting in the Champagne industry for nearly a decade. She resides in Brighton when she is not in Paris and regularly hosts champagne master classes and dinners. You can find her at thechampagnedame.com. For your own private champagne masterclass contact Kyla on [email protected].

Image of ‘New Year Celebration‘ via Shutterstock

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