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Sparkling Wine Tips & Pairing

A Celebration in Every Bottle

Enjoying great sparkling wine is easy, here are some thoughts to
enhance the experience.

Sparkling wine is the only wine that appeals to all the senses: Feel the creaminess on the palate, taste the crispness, see the clarity, enjoy the delicious aroma, and listen to the bubbles as they rise to the surface.

How much will you need?

One 750ml bottle of sparkling wine holds enough to fill about six flute glasses, perfect for a pre-dinner toast.

Dinner for two? One bottle of bubbly might be just right, but you don't want to be caught short – be sure to keep an extra bottle or two on hand for 'emergencies'.

Serving temperature

Sparkling wine is best served at the temperature you like best: Carneros usually prefers a very cool 40-45 degrees F. Chill it in the fridge for two hours or for the classic, stylish method, pop it in an ice bucket with ice and water for 20 minutes before serving.

Alternate layers of salt and ice in a wine bucket, up to the neck of the bottle - then add water. Pop the cork in about 10 minutes.

Not with a bang…

Pop the cork with a whisper, not a bang. Point the bottle away from people and windows! With your thumb on the top of the wire hood and cork, loosen the wire cage with the other hand. Keep holding the cage and cork with your thumb and hand, twist the bottle (not the cork).

Do we hear flutes?

Does sparkling wine show best in narrow flutes? Or is the fuller “tulip style” glass just right? Some argue that a wine glass is best. Decide for yourself by trying sparkling wine in different glasses.

No need to chill glasses if wine is well chilled.

Leave some room

Fill your flutes one-third full to enjoy a sparkling wine's enticing aromas. Bonus: the smaller volume is more likely to remain perfectly chilled as you sip.


For top quality, the tinier and more abundant the bubbles in sparkling wine, the better. Bubbles help release the wine's flavor and aroma and tiny bubbles translate to a creamier texture on the palate. Did you know… The average bottle of sparkling wine yields from 50 to 250 million bubbles!

Keep extra bubbly fresh

Once a bottle of bubbly is opened, it can be kept in the refrigerator with a pressure-tight seal stopper that keeps refrigerated sparkling wine lively for up to a week. A week!

Store sideways or standing up?

With sparkling wine, the pressure keeps the cork moist whether the bottle is sideways or standing straight up. So go ahead and show off those beautiful bottles of bubbly, but - like all wine - be sure to store your bottles in a cool place away from direct light.

Sparkling Choices

Domaine Carneros produces many styles of sparkling wine including the vibrant Brut Vintage Cuvée, fruity and floral Brut Rosé Cuvée, and luxuriously rich Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs. All are hand crafted in the traditional méthode traditionnelle.

Versatile sparkling wine

Sparkling wine can be a wonderful complement to many dishes not usually associated with bubbly. The acidity and bubbles cut through the richness and saltiness of most meals and cleanses your palate for the next delicious bite. It's the perfect foil for salty foods, fried foods, and rich cheeses.

Historically, sparkling wines were sweeter and hence paired with desserts. The evolution to drier Brut styles mean that this no longer is true unless the wine is a demi-sec like our Verméil.

Classic sparkling wine pairings

Pair sparkling wines with herbed nuts, goat cheeses, prawns, fresh oysters on the half shell, fresh cracked crab, lobster, smoked salmon, and of course, caviar!

Sparkling wines containing a higher proportion of Pinot Noir in the blend, such as our Brut, Rose or Blanc de Noir, pair admirably with fowl, pork and even beef.

Popcorn and sparkling wine is delicious!

Try your popcorn topped with butter & lemon zest. Or with butter, Parmesan & truffle oil. (For a stronger flavor, add a teaspoon of truffle oil to every 1 1½ tablespoons of the popping oil.)

We're not much for "rules" so take these with a grain of salt. Be creative, experiment on your own, and remember, the world (of food & wine pairings) is your oyster!