How To Serve Champagne The Right Way On New Year's Eve

We can't foresee what's coming in the new year, but the hours right before it predictable for many. Whether you're celebrating New Year's Eve at home on your couch or at a glitzy gathering, odds are there's a bottle of champagne involved. Popping champagne corks is synonymous with celebrating the New Year, and if you're planning to participate, it's time to perfect your technique. Matthew Woodburn-Simmonds, a former sommelier and the founder of Home Coffee Expert, shared his advice with Mashed: Bubbly should be poured at 46 degrees Fahrenheit for the prime drinking experience.

If you've been drinking your champagne ice cold, there's a chance you've been serving champagne wrong the whole time. But you don't want it to be too warm, either. While some research indicates that champagne tastes best at room temperature when it has the most bubbles, Woodburn-Simmonds suggests pouring it at a slightly cooler temperature. This is because when champagne is served warmer, the carbon dioxide is released too quickly, and the champagne loses fizz and flavor. 

If it's too cold, however, the flavors won't come through at all. At 46 degrees Fahrenheit, you'll detect all of the delicate notes your bubbly has to offer. Woodburn-Simmonds tells Mashed, "If it is too cold then you'll lose all the subtle complex flavors that you're paying the extra money for over a cheap bottle of fizz (if you want to hide the flavor of a poor quality white wine, chill it as cold as possible)." So if you didn't spring for top-shelf champagne, you can over-chill it to conceal imperfections.

Plan ahead to prepare your champagne

To get champagne to 46 degrees without a wine cellar for precise temperature control, Woodburn-Simmonds advises, "This is quite a bit warmer than your fridge, you can chill in the fridge and then leave out for around 30 mins before serving and you should be about perfect." So be sure to stash your bottles in the fridge earlier in the day in preparation for the big moment. It's also recommended that you lay the bottles on their sides in the fridge and disturb them as little as possible to maintain the temperature and the ideal bubbliness. 

Once you're ready to pour your champagne, you'll want to use a narrow glass to concentrate the bubbles, like a traditional flute, and tilt it as you slowly pour, for the most fizz and aroma. To ensure that perfect temperature of 46 degrees lasts past the pour, hold the stem of the glass so that you don't warm it with your hands. However, you don't want to chill your glasses, because the condensation at room temperature will water down the champagne.

With these expert tips, you're ready to ring in the New Year in style. And if you want to ensure luck and prosperity for the year ahead in traditional Spanish style, accompany your champagne with 12 green grapes — one for every month of the coming year.