Before you start popping bottles tonight, be sure that everything is set properly: Gather your friends, write some resolutions, and chill the Champagne to its ideal temperature.
It's almost too easy to improperly open a bottle of Champagne (or sparkling wine, as any bubbly that doesn't come from France's Champagne region is technically supposed to be called) and hinder the whole experience. The temperature at which it's chilled can affect the taste, the fizz, and whether you lose a third of the bottle to overflow once you pop the cork. Luckily, there's a way to be sure that you're getting the most out of your bottle of bubs.
The Takeout recently spoke to Bob Hemauer, a partner at Cork 'N Bottle in Madison, Wisconsin, and an expert on the idiosyncrasies and specifics of fine alcohol. His recommendation is to keep your champs chilled to a very safe 45°F, though he prefers to "live life to the edge a little bit," and "let [his] Champagne get a little closer to 50°F or 55°F." A warmer bottle means a fizzy explosion is more likely, but vintage champagnes (read: more expensive bottles—for champagnes, a single-year harvest is what indicates vintage, not its age) are traditionally kept warmer to avoid stunning the taste buds. This gives you the full effect of the flavor. When Champagne is kept just under 50°F, it reaches that perfect happy medium.
Handle your bubbly gently, too. Hemauer says that "treating [the Champagne] with the proper amount of respect really helps." Avoid shaking the bottle, obviously, unless you're filming a music video. When opening it, twist the bottle rather than the cork for the best results. Hemauer adds that you should down your drink quickly to really get the most out of it, and if you must take your time, keeping your bottle in a chilled bucket or refrigerated will keep your drink fizzier for longer.
There's a lot of advice on how to properly store, chill, and serve Champagne, but just remember: never put it in the freezer, keep the temperature just below 50°F, and, drink up so you can avoid the need to re-chill, which impairs its fizz and taste. Cheers!
[h/t The Takeout]