Champagne etiquette by The Royal Butler – Grant Harrold

Change etiquette surely has to be one of life’s key lessons. Knowing how to navigate the do’s and don’ts when serving champagne to your guests is a must. A favourite Informed Luxury beverage has to be without question champagne, it is enjoyed by Royals, celebrities and the great and good. We celebrate with it, pay homage with it and launch ships with it. Why has champagne got this status and where did this wonderful beverage come from? We find out from The Royal Butler, Grant Arnold and delve into the past of this iconic drink!

Champagne is a sparkling wine that is produced from the Champagne region in France. Vineyards have to follow rules that demand secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation using specific practices and sourcing grapes exclusively from specific parcels in the Champagne appellation which are specifically pressed in a unique way to the region.

It is illegal to officially label any product Champagne unless it comes from the Champagne region and is produced under the rules mentioned above. The main type of grapes used in the production of Champagne are black Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier and finally white Chardonnay. The appellation laws that govern champagne only allows grapes that have been grown according to appellation rules in designated plots within the appellation to be used in the production of Champagne.

When it comes to the etiquette of champagne, quite simply all you need to do is follow the guide below.

To serve Champagne in the way a Royal household would serve it is not unlike most grand houses in the United Kingdom.

  • Firstly you do not open the champagne in the room you will be serving it in. You will either have a preparation area, i.e: your kitchen or if you have one, in the bar.
  • Make sure the champagne has been chilled correctly in the fridge for at least a few hours so it is at a good temperature.
  • When you take the champagne out of the fridge do this carefully, so as not to disturb the champagne and stand the bottle on a secure worktop.
  • Carefully remove the foil and untwist the wire loop to loosen the wire cage that protects the cork while keeping a thumb on the cork.
  • Now pick up the bottle and hold the body of the bottle in your left or right hand and wedge the bulbous end of the cork deep into the palm of your other hand.
  • Slowly twist cork back and forward until it is released from the bottle, but do this carefully to make as little noise as possible.
  • Pre fill a few champagne glasses with about two inches of champagne, then top them up to about a few millimetres from the top of the glass.
  • Place the bottle in an ice bucket or put a silver spoon in the neck of the bottle to help keep the bubbles.
  • You would have no more than five to six glasses per tray which would then be taken by the butler to the guests.
  • Offering to the most senior ladies  first, then the most senior gentlemen and so on.
  • Keep topping the glasses up every five minutes until the end of the event or before the guests go in to a lunch or dinner.

If we’ve inspired you how about treating yourself and some special guests to a VIP luxury champagne afternoon tea experience?


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