03/29/2011 11:47 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Perfect Glass of Champagne


Why does there have to be one rule for the way a glass of champagne is served when you order by the glass as opposed to by the bottle? Why is the measure invariably two thirds of the glass when you order singly, but when you order by the bottle, unless you guide the pourer otherwise, they will fill your glass almost to the brim... which empties the bottle faster! Emptying the bottle faster: here is the reason and how we deplore it. How we resent that overfilling, over pouring, over frequenting of the table and then the eye contact -- "another bottle, sir?" Or worse still, another bottle gets opened without even asking the customer.

Private members club, George, is a culprit of this. Five people at the table on a celebratory evening; champagne ordered, glasses refilled when two of the guests had taken two sips and, on the refilling, they had topped up three to the brim so there was nothing left for the other two... and then the eye contact for the second bottle!

La Mamounia, Marrakech's 'grande dame' hotel, serves Deutz exactly as it should be; in perfect Riedel glasses, chilled before serving so the champagne is at an ideal temperature, olives and almonds to accompany rather than crisps, glasses filled to one third, the bottle back in the bucket. Perfection.