August 12, 2010 / 10:33 PM / 9 years ago

How to pour champagne? Science backs the side of a glass

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Pouring champagne down the side of the glass might stop the bubbles overflowing too quickly but is the best way?

A guest drinks champagne in New York February 12, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

According to French scientists, it is, preserving both its taste and fizz — and the bubbly should be well chilled.

Researchers from the University of Reims in France set out to settle a long-standing disagreement over the best way to pour a glass of champagne by measuring the losses of dissolved carbon dioxide gas during champagne serving.

Past studies have indicated that the bubbles formed during the release of large amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide gas help transfer the taste, aroma, and mouth-feel of champagne.

But Gerard Liger-Belair and his University of Reims colleagues set out to see how the act of pouring a glass of bubbly could impact the gas levels in champagne and its quality.

The scientists studied carbon dioxide loss in champagne using two different pouring methods.

One involved pouring champagne straight down the middle of a glass while the other involved pouring champagne down the side of an angled glass.

“Pouring champagne down the side preserved up to twice as much carbon dioxide in champagne than pouring down the middle, probably because the angled method was gentler,” they wrote in their study that was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

They also showed that cooler champagne temperatures - ideally, 39 degrees Fahrenheit (3.8 Celsius) — helped reduce carbon dioxide loss.

“Low temperatures prolong the drink’s chill and help it to retain its effervescence during the pouring process,” they said.

Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Patricia Reaney

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