Your guide to popping Champagne

22nd August 2014

It’s a special occasion, friends and family are gathered expectantly, glass in hand. After wrestling with the champagne bottle for an inconceivable time, the cork flies out, smashing a glass and most of your delicious fizz splashes out onto the floor!

To make sure you don't pop your cork too soon, Phillip's sourced some top tips from the WaitroseCellar to ensure the fizz doesn't run dry at your next dinner soirée.

• Chill your fizz thoroughly before opening; not only will it taste better, it will also reduce the pressure in the bottle, making it easier to open.

• Loosen the wire cage around the cork but keep it on and keep your thumb on the cork. This will stop it popping out on its own.

• Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle and gently twist the bottle, not the cork, to open it.

Watch Waitrose video how-to with Stéphane Sanchez, Waitrose Cellar specialist.

What is Champagne?

Unlike other sparkling wines, champagne may only be produced in the Champagne region of north-eastern France where the chalky soils are perfect for growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – the varieties that make up this sophisticated fizz. Producers follow very traditional methods to ensure the exclusivity and premium quality of champagne. Grapes are picked by hand, not machine, and the wine is always aged for a minimum of 18 months. Also, the second fermentation always takes place in the same bottle that the wine is sold in; this is called Méthode Champenoise.

With a smooth fruity palate, light toasty finish and delicate bubbles, champagne is the perfect apéritif for every celebration, but can also add a touch of elegance to any meal including a Friday night fish and chip supper.

Shop Champagne.

Discover Phillip's food matches for fizz.

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