Do you know the best way to chill champagne for your New Year's celebration? Here are a few tips on chilling champagne and serving it at optimal temperatures for the best enjoyment.
Stand Up Your Soldiers
Champagne, unlike wine, should be stored and chilled standing up for the short-term, such as when you're getting prepared for a party. Champagne bottles should also be kept away from bright or artificial light, as light can get through the glass of the bottle and break down your bubbly.
Vintage and non-vintage champagnes have different demands. Vintage bottles should be served at temperatures between 54 and 57-degrees Fahrenheit. Non-vintage champagne and sparkling wine, however, actually needs to be a bit colder. It should be stored between 40 and 45-degrees Fahrenheit. When chilling in a refrigerator it's best to use a thermometer to insure that you're in the right temperature zone.
Break out the Ice Bucket
Many parts of the country can have downright cold weather on New Year's Eve. Leaving a bottle, or a case, outside is a tempting idea, especially when refrigerator space may be filled up with other food and refreshments. Keep in mind the optimal temperature you want to serve your bubbly at. If the evening brings with it temperatures in the teens, you need to find somewhere a little warmer to chill your stash. Trying to chill champagne too quickly, either in a freezer or outside in freezing temperatures, is never recommended as that can literally kill the bubbles.
Speeding up the Chill
The ice bucket is usually your best bet, and here's a method to speed things along. Add ice, a generous amount of salt and enough water to let the ice float a little bit into a bucket. Leave the bottle or bottles for a few minutes while the chemical reaction of the salt and water start to melt the ice. This method will only take 3-5-minutes, and can be done in shifts so you chill a few bottles at a time while you start serving. Just remember that your bottle should be placed in the bucket upright, and not laying down.