Below are some useful tips on serving Champagne that I was given when I recently attended a very smart lunch at The Dorchester Grill to celebrate the collaboration between the venerable Champagne maison of Laurent-Perrier and The Dorchester Grill at this year’s Taste of London, which runs over this weekend in Regents Park.
The Entertaining at Home Masterclass will be hosted by The Grill at The Dorchester’s head chef Christophe Marleix and Daniel Brennan of Champagne Laurent-Perrier, and teach guests how to choose the perfect champagne to accompany an array of dishes for entertaining at home.
On arrival they will be served a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut Non-Vintage from a jeroboam and then be guided through the key characteristics of four Laurent-Perrier champagnes, each with unique style and pairing quality to accompany three tasting dishes prepared by the iconic Mayfair restaurant, Hansen & Lydersen Salmon paired with Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut, The Grill at The Dorchester’s signature lobster chowder paired with Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle and organic braised lamb shoulder paired with Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé.
Top Tips for Serving Champagne from Champagne Laurent-Perrier:
The best way to chill champagne is with an ice bucket for a minimum of 45 minutes. Make sure the bottle is covered up to the neck and never in the freezer (perish the thought!)
The average 75cl bottle contains roughly 6 glasses of champagne, double if it’s a magnum.
The best temperature at which to serve champagne is 8-10°c
To open a bottle:
Remove the foil around the cork and loosen the wire cage
Hold the, hopefully chilled, bottle at 45 degrees
Grip the cork and twist the bottom of the bottle, gradually easing the cork out.
As the pressure on the cork increases hold it firmly and ease it out of the bottle slowly with a ‘hiss’, not a ‘pop’.
Continue to hold the bottle at 45 degrees a few moments longer to stop any foaming.
When serving champagne, pour the bottle by putting your thumb under the punt.
The best glass to use for champagne is a tulip-shaped one. Slightly more open than a flute, it allows more aromas to reach you when drinking but is still narrow enough to preserve the bubble.
Champagne is only released from the cellars once it is ready to drink so there is no need or no benefit for holding onto a bottle for more than 2 years.