To Enjoy Champagne, Treat it like Beer

Champagne may be a symbol of life at the top, but it is best poured into a tilted glass just like that other sparkling beverage, the plebeian beer, according to a new study.

That’s because the bubbles — or dissolved carbon dioxide — in Champagne release its aroma and cause a tingly feeling that heightens the drinking experience. The higher the concentration of bubbles, the better.

The best way to keep the bubbles in the beverage, as any beer drinker knows, is to let the liquid tumble gently down the side of a tilted glass.

When Champagne is poured into a glass held vertically, it loses twice the amount of bubbles, said Gerard Liger-Belair, the study’s lead author and a physicist at the University of Reims, in the heart of France’s Champagne region.

“There is more turbulence and more motion in the liquid in a vertical pour,” Dr. Liger-Belair said. “When you tilt the glass the liquid invades the glass with less force.”

The scientists measured bubbles in glasses of Champagne poured in the traditional way and in the beerlike way at three different temperatures.

They found that the loss of bubbles is further minimized when Champagne is served chilled.

Science, however, may not be enough to change the way a nation pours a drink.

“It would be very provocative to pour Champagne in this way for many French,” Dr. Liger-Belair said. “Champagne is a universe which is very traditionally bent.”

The study is published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.