Quite frequently, at Napoleon the third’s court and all along the 19th century, for formal and official diners (the expression “champagne in a carafe” could be noticed on the menu of the city mayors famous banquet prepared by Potel and Chabot in 1890), this mode of serving vanishes after World War One. Was it a result of the sparkling nights of the roaring twenties, when muzzlers and corks popped out to the sound of charleston?
Whatever the story, the elegance of the service in carafe must be restricted to precious nectars, aged or vinous, in order to soften up the tannins, and set forth the savors. To this effect, it is recommended to use a previously refrigerated gooseneck carafe. Just a mere fifteen minutes in the carafe will be enough. However, we should protect ourselves, citing Marcel Proust, from hardly scrupulous hosts “serving in carafe, under the presumption of being Champagne, some ordinary sparkling wines”!