Expert busts some common champagne myths

How much do you really know about the bubbly beverage?

A glass of Champagne is often thought to be reserved for very special occasions, but with the tipple becoming more and more popular, what else have we misunderstood about it?

While it certainly is great to have at a celebration, don't think champers has to stay reserved for it and throw out your ideas of what food to pair with it too - it's actually very versatile!

Here, Melissa Leong, reveals some of the biggest myths she has encountered in her foodie career:

Myth 1: Food matching is strict

"The greatest myth about food and Champagne is that you should just have it with oysters or a platter of fruits de mer. Of course, it’s often a great match, but there are so many great expressions of Champagne out there, and many of them pair perfectly with far more. Even if it’s not textbook perfect, Champagne is quite forgiving, so you can feel confident to drink it throughout a meal."

Myth 2: Only drink it on a special occasion

"Another one of the biggest myths is that you should only drink it when you have something to celebrate. Yes, there’s something spectacular about the ‘pop clink fizz’ of it all, but Champagne is such a great food wine that it’s a shame to reserve it for special occasions. It’s like mum’s silver service reserved for special guests or that pair of beautiful shoes you keep in your closet but never wear… we should enjoy the things that give us happiness more often."

Myth 3: Champagne is hard to match with food

"We know by now that Champagne is first and foremost a wine region in France with many producers of varying styles and quality. Champagne can also be made from seven different grape varietals, including most commonly Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier. So no, not every Champagne is made equal and therefore you can’t say that every food match will work with every cuvée. Like any wine and food matching, it’s helpful to know a bit about the style and flavour profile of what you might be consuming, and then make some educated guesses based on their qualities. And if all else fails, the best way to know is to practise…it’s still food and wine at the end of the day!"

Myth 4: Serving Champagne is confusing

"The basics of pouring, tasting and drinking Champagne are actually pretty easy…and we cover them all throughout the series The Art of Tasting. From chilling down the bottle, to learning how to open it, taste it and pour it, it isn’t hard to nail the essentials to really get the best out of every bottle of bubbles you drink from now on."

Myth 5: You should open a bottle in dramatic fashion

"We all love that slow motion movie montage of the Champagne cork flying off the bottle and cute people laughing. While it’s nice visual, why waste great Champagne?! Learning to open a bottle of Champagne is a true life skill, and one you can repeat over and over to impress your pals. Just remember to keep a firm grip of the cork and give it a gentle twist, until you hear the hiss. Then gently pull the bottle away from the cork (not the other way around), et voila!"

Myth 6: Champagne is intimidating

"Don’t be intimidate by Champagne. Just like any wine, it’s just grape juice - albeit expertly grown and handled. Good food and wine deserves to be enjoyed by everyone, so there’s no need to be scared about what you don’t know. A good sommelier or a salesperson at a quality wine shop is there to help you learn, and shouldn’t make you feel silly if you ask questions to help inform yourself. Nobody should ever feel bad about learning!"

QT Hotels has teamed up with Melissa Leong for a five part mini-series dedicated to the art of Champagne pairing called The Art of Tasting for more information click here

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