With New Year’s Eve upon us, Krug Champagne master sommelier Ian Cauble shares his expertise on serving and pairing a fine bottle of bubbly.
How does one determine which glass to use—a coupe, a flute, a regular wine glass?
IAN CAUBLE: Ignore the classic stereotypes. Contrary to popular belief, Champagne is best when served in an all purpose wine glass, rather than a flute. A flute tends to mask flavors. Its design is more focused on showcasing the bubbles, thus hindering the wine from breathing. A wine glass lets the wine fully come to life and breathe.
Should Champagne be served chilled on ice or kept in the fridge?
IC: Colder doesn’t always mean better. One of the worst possible things to do is serve Champagne super cold. When frosty, Champagnes become shy and the personality is lost. An inside tip is to take the Champagne out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before drinking it.
What are some foods that pair well with Champagne?
IC: Champagne is one of the most versatile wine pairings in the world due to the perfect contrast between the richness of texture and freshness of acidity. Krug, in particular, has the outstanding ability to stand up to complex and rich flavors like truffle, curries, and cheese plates, while simultaneously allowing the taster to accent delicate flavors like those found in seafood and nuts. Serve an entire meal paired with Champagne: blancs de blancs like Krug Clos du Mesnil with oysters, Krug Rosé with spicy food such as Thai, or Krug Grande Cuvée with meats. Get creative!