08 Drink Champagne from a proper glass
If you pour fizz in traditional flutes or coupes you are, sadly, in error, says Maximilian Riedel, CEO and 11th generation of the eponymous Austrian glassmakers. The world’s wineries use his family-owned company’s stemware to optimise flavour via clever designs crafted for individual grape varietals: Riedel makes more than 450 different shaped vessels, and continues to develop more. A wider glass will release more flavours and the new Performance range boasts an “optic impact” — ridging, in other words — on the inside, creating a larger surface area within the glass. Cue flavour explosions. Here’s our pick of the best bubblies to serve in them.
RD Extra Brut 2004, by Champagne Bollinger A byword for quality, the “recently disgorged” Bollinger bottles benefit from extended aging. The latest vintage to receive this special treatment is its 2004, which has warm and rounded biscuit flavours with a hint of tropical fruit. 12% ABV, £150/75cl; bbr.com
Rosé 2005, by Dom Pérignon Fastidious chef de cave Richard Geoffroy was the first to espouse Reidel’s Pinot Noir glass for his house’s rosé Champagne, bowing to its key grape. Enjoy this pink nectar ten-fold in the new range. 12.5% ABV, £265/75cl; thewhiskyexchange.com
Blanc de Blancs NV, by Charles Heidsieck Made solely from Chardonnay grapes, Blanc de Blancs demands a wide glass to show it off. One of the earliest adopters of this style, the house of the original “Champagne Charlie” released a non-vintage version this year. 12% ABV, £70/75cl; leaandsandeman.co.uk
Serve the Charles Heidsieck in Riedel’s Montrachet/ Chardonnay glass, above, £45 for two; riedel.com