Ideally store your bottles out of direct light in a cool shaded place without a lot of variations in temperature. Keep them horizontal so as to prevent the cork from drying out. Non-vintage wines should be drunk within two years of purchase. Vintage wines can be kept for five or ten years according to taste.
To chill your champagne, place it in an ice bucket filled with ice for 30 minutes. Alternatively, it could be placed in the bottom of a refrigerator for 4 hours before serving. For young, lively champagnes, serve at between 6-8°. Vintage and mature wines should be served at 10° in order to best reveal their aromas. Choose a tulip-shaped glass which is wider at the base and narrower at the rim. This shape will enable the bubbles to form a necklace and will conserve the full range of flavours.
Alone or as an accompaniment?
For a pre-dinner drink, official or family celebration, champagne is a good choice, just as it is. But to serve champagne for a brunch or a dinner will be much appreciated by sparkling-wine lovers. Dishes with strong tastes go well with mature champagnes, while lighter meals demand a lighter, finer champagne.
Which dishes would go best with Champagne :