The first guideline for serving sparkling wine is: Do it. Don’t think you have to wait for a special occasion to open a bottle of bubbly. Too many people believe sparkling wine is only for birthdays, anniversaries, and other infrequent celebrations. What a shame to limit this guaranteed mood lifter to only a few outings a year.
Many sparkling wines-especially those from the U.S., Italy, and Spain-are affordable enough to enjoy more often. Why not toast the end of the work week with a glass of sparkling wine on Friday nights? Buy a champagne stopper, a metal clamp that keeps the fizz in an open bottle, and you can have another glass on Saturday night and maybe even a sip or two left over for Sunday.
In California’s wine country, many dinner parties begin with a glass of sparkling wine all around. It sets a festive mood even if there’s nothing to celebrate but the pleasures of friendship. Some people may avoid serving sparkling wine at home because they are fearful about opening the bottle. Here are some pointers: