PARTY TIP FOR CLEANING CHAMPAGNE GLASSES
It probably sounds crazy, but a sparkly-clean champagne flute makes me happy! Years ago, my mom taught me how to properly clean and prepare a champagne flute, and here she shares her “secret” tips with us.
Always try to serve Champagne and/or Méthode Cap Classique Sparkling Wine in champagne glasses. Preferably the flute shape (instead of the old flat, shallow glass, known as the coupé) as the bubbles are then more noticeable and, as we all know, enjoyment is as much to do with what excites the eye, as with what the tastebuds perceive.
Probably the most important aspect as far as presentation is concerned has to do with:
THE WASHING OF THE GLASSES
wash in hot, soapy water
rinse very well with clean, clear, hot water
dry with a paper towel or a dedicated glass cloth (fluff-free)
If any residue from detergent or ‘rinse aid’ (as used in dishwashers) is left on the inner surface of the glass, the bubbles will not have anywhere from which to ‘kick-off’ and the sparkling wine will appear to be flat. However, when you then take a sip, it’ll be like an explosion in your mouth, pushing your cheeks outwards as the bubbles kick off inside your mouth. Some fanatical champagne and sparkling wine aficionados use a diamond drill to gently scratch the base of their special champagne flute glasses in order to have a rough spot from which those fascinating bubbles start their journey to the top. Quite symbolic – a journey from the rough spot in the depths, rising all the way to the top…
store glasses upright in a clean, airy cupboard, or hang them upside-down
never store wine glasses in ‘aromatic’ wooden cupboards
sniff any batch of glasses before serving wines or sparkling wines in order to ensure that the glasses are neutral – even when they come out of storage boxes or trays.