PARIS – French scientists say they have settled a question that has long divided Champagne lovers: How best to pour the bubbly?
At an angle, not straight down.
The scientists at the University of Reims say pouring bubbly at a slant, as you would a beer, preserves more of the tiny gas bubbles that improve the drink’s flavor and aromas.
The study – “On the Losses of Dissolved CO2 During Champagne Serving” – appears this week in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a U.S. publication.
The researchers say they looked at two ways of pouring Champagne: the “traditional” method, with the liquid poured vertically to hit the bottom of the Champagne flute; and the “beerlike way,” executed by tilting the glass and gently sliding in the Champagne.
They say the study matters not just to Champagne drinkers but to glassmakers. They note that the industry is researching a “new generation” of Champagne glasses specially designed to control the release of carbon dioxide, the gas that gives the drink its sparkle.
The researchers used bottles of 2008 vintage from Cooperative Nogent l’Abbesse to examine how the two methods of pouring affected the release of CO2.
They said they used two ways to measure the amount of CO2 in each pouring, and tested bottles chilled to varying degrees. the result: Champagne poured like beer retained more gas than Champagne poured to create a head of “mousse,” or foam.
And the colder the bottle, the less gas was lost, the study found.