Concha y Toro

Ania Smolec 25/12/2015

10 commandments to uncork and enjoy a sparkling wine

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There is nothing typical or regular about sparkling wine. Compared to still wine, the bottle, the production method and the glasses to serve ir are quite different. Let’s recall how to uncork and serve a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate New Year.

Although it is made with classical strains such as Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, sparkling wine is a completely different style of wine. Just look at its bottle. The first big difference is that you do not need a corkscrew to open it. To uncork it in a practical and elegant way you need to follow certain steps. Remember that this wine is under pressure and, unless you are a F1 pilot, you don’t want the wine foam to cover your clothes and your guests. Let’s check out the ritual of sparkling wine in ten simple steps.

1. Serving temperature

Like any other wines, sparkling wine has to be served chilled. With a temperature lower than the ambient, a wine like Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Collection Brut appears nice and fresh on the palate, and it is less “dangerous” to open it (the pressure is lower). The temperature should be between 6 ° C and 9 ° C. Lower than that the foam loses its beauty and flavors. A great way to keep your bottle of sparkling cold is to use a bucket with cold water and ice.
espumante mandamientos

2. Bottle position

It’s the first consideration to uncork a sparkling wine. Never direct it towards a person, window or a table full of glasses. The cork can fly off with force. It also leaves out a lot of wine. It is important to put the hand on the cork to prevent discharge of shot like a meteor.

3. Let the sparkling stand

To minimize the risk of an explosion I don’t recommend you to open a bottle of sparkling newly brought from the store. On the way home the itsuffers greatly by the movement. It is better to let the wine stand.

4. Cut the cap

Remove the metal cap from the bottle to discover the cork in the metal cage. You can use the small knife found in the corkscrew.

5. Remove the metal cage

Keeping the thumb on the cork, gently loose the twisted metal cage. While firmly holding the cork with your hand, remove it with the other.

6. The uncorking moment

Hold the bottle with one hand while using the other to take the cork. Gently swirl the bottle. Never the cork! This way is much easier to remove it. Another benefit of this technique is that the risk of breaking the cork is reduced.

7. Remove the cork with caution

If necessary, help yourself with your thumb and other fingers. Remember, causing a loud bang  is not classy. The protocol indicates that it should sound like a sigh or a breath of pleasure. If the cork unlucky breaks, I recommend making a whole with a pointed object to let some of the gas escape and then open the bottle with a corkscrew.

8. Pouring the wine

Once the bottle is open, pour the wine into a flute shape glass very fast (because it may leak). Do it in two movements so that the foam does not exceed the edge of the cup.

9. What to do with the sparkling wine once opened so that it retains the carbon dioxide?

In wine stores you can buy some wine plugs to replace the cork from the opened bottle. These plugs prevent the bubbles to escape.

10. And if you have several bottles of your favorite sparkling wine and you want to save them for the next New Year’s party?

With aging sparkling wines eventually lose some of their gas. Their color becomes deeper and fresh notes of citrus and vanilla mutate to  nutty, honey and toasted aromas. Factors that predispose sparkling wines to storing are good acidity and carbonation. So the answer is “yes.” You can save your favorite sparkling wine for a few years. (Naturally the conditions are the same as for any other wine: a cool, dark place). But, if you like the freshness and puncture bubbles, I recommend you to change each year’s vintage of sparkling in your personal cellar. Thus you can always welcome New Year with a renewed energy.