How to serve Champagne

Avoid flying corks and mass spillage. Neil Phillips, the Champagne ambassador for G.H. Mumm and Perrier–Jouët, tells us the correct way to serve the Champagne

“Champagne must be properly chilled before it’s served. It needs to have been in the fridge for about three hours before. Of course there are always situations where it will suddenly need to be chilled down, and the best way to do that is to fill up an ice bucket with half water, and half ice. This will actually chill the Champagne down a lot more quickly than just being in a bucket full of ice alone. It should reach the right temperature in about fifteen to thirty minutes.”

“Don’t ever be tempted to put Champagne in the freezer – apart from the fact that you might forget about it (disaster), if it gets too cold, you won’t be able to taste it properly.”

Neil Phillips, Champagne ambassador for G.H. Mumm and Perrier–Jouët shares his top Champagne tips

“Opening Champagne is a step-by-step procedure: whilst holding the bottle at the base, peel back the foil wrap on the cork end and unwind. Next, place a thumb on top of the capsule whilst keeping the pressure on the cork. Remove the wire covering. Take the capsule off and quickly put a thumb on top of the cork because there may be pressure building up in the bottle - this avoids having the cork fly across the room. Hold the cork firmly, and then twist the bottle not the cork. Gradually turn the bottle in order to slowly ease the cork out. Keep the pressure on the bottle to get a little sigh rather than a podium pop.”

“The Champagne glass must be absolutely clean - any detergent remaining will kill off the bubbles. Then take the Champagne bottle, tilt the glass, and pour it in very gently. The mousse will rise up the glass. Wait a moment for it to go down, pour a drop more Champagne into the glass, and then get it to the level where you want to serve it.”

“Food and Champagne pairing is dependent on the type of Champagne you serve, but generally G.H. Mumm suggests pairing seafood such as oysters, scallops, smoked salmon, crab, prawns and lobster, chicken, goats cheese, Gruyère and fruit desserts that aren’t too sweet such as tarte tatin or strawberry tart.”