How to mess up champagne and sparkling wines - beware bubble killers everywhere!
Cold or Cool?
A simple ”pétillant” or a “Cava“, which, by law, has the be conserved for a minimum of 9 months flat on wood in the cellar, should ideally be served at 6°C/42°F to 8°C/46°F , while a more structured “Brut“ will be best if poured at 8°C/46°F to 10°C/50°F. Sparkling wines with a “reserve” status after years in its barrel or “Prestige cuvées”, which have strict rules in grape selection and will sometimes have an additional cellar maturation of up to 2 to 3 years, will only release their finesse at a serving temperature that is closer to the ideal 'cellar storage temperature'. And with ideal we mean from 10°C/50°F to 12°C/53°F.
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Of course, other variables play a role, including the dominant grape variety from which the sparkling wine was made. More delicate, finer blanc-de-blancs (ie: 100% 'white' grapes) usually require a different - usually cooler - serving temperature than sparkling wines that contain a much higher dose of pinot noir or other blue varieties.
It is remarkable that most Champagne Houses or top wine houses from Europe and the New World, never distinguish between their various sparkling products. When they publish serving tips on the label, they usually provide a quasi-uniform advice that applies to their entire assortment. We are rarely informed of the difference between, for example a wine that had a sunny year with early ripening and usually a richer fruit or one that had a difficult harvest because of erratic weather circumstances.
So in the economy of Bubbles, there is definitely still room for more accurate advice to ensure your get your sparkling wine at the ideal serving temperature because nothing tastes as bad as a champagne or other sparkling wine from which the soul (the CO2) has disappeared.
We also try to cut corners by putting it in the freezer in the hopes it will cool down in time for your guests to arrive. Don’t be fooled – doing it this way is the fastest way to destroy the essence of your champagne and sparkling wines. Instead try this state-of-the-art technological device QelviQ, Your Personal Sommelier, that takes the guessing out of it.
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"Hi l am Wim, sommelier, and wine enthusiast just like you! My fellow sommeliers understand the importance of serving wine at the correct temperature. They know that if wine is too warm, it will lose its flavors and complexities, and if wine is served too cold, it will numb your taste buds. A few world renown sommeliers and myself will explain this further, and share some interesting (taste) case studies."