Yesterday I attended a class at the Astor Center that explored decanting Champagne with Régis Camus, winemaker for Champagnes Piper Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck, Maximilian Riedel, the CEO for Riedel Crystal North America (he’s the 11th generation of the family) and Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW.
Before we got to the decanting, we experimented with different glasses, trying the house Brut and Rosé both in Champagne flutes and white wine glasses.
The Champagne in the white wine glass won every time. It was rounder, fuller, smoother and more aromatic. The glass shape impacts where the wine hits your mouth – with the flute, it hits at the tip of the tongue and with the white wine glass, it hits just behind the tip of the tongue, causing the wine to flow more evenly over your palate, allowing you to get more from it. It’s also quite a bit easier to fit your nose inside a wine glass than a Champagne flute and smelling is often the best part. The next time I serve Champagne at my house, my guests will be in for a surprise.
Here’s a video detailing the decanting of the 1995 Blanc des Millénaires.