Did you know…Champagne?

Rose Tasting Notes
June 24, 2017
New Year’s Eve Dinner
December 27, 2017

restaurant serving juice champagne glasses

Champagne makes everything fancy. It can turn an ordinary meal into a swanky and sophisticated experience. Life is too short to skip out on simple pleasures…Don’t save Champagne for just special occasions…Joie de vivre!!!

Champagne magnums on the rise

In the last 10 years, there has been a 30% increase in Champagne exports, with the jump 70% within the last five years. But why is this?

There is a science as to why wine tastes better from bigger bottles. As the bottle size increases, the proportion of exposed wine to unexposed wine decreases, so they have less exposure to the effects of oxygen.

Not forgetting, of course, that you get more Champagne in a bigger bottle.

How to Store Champagne

Have you got a wine cellar?

The ideal way to store it is in a temperature-constant room/space. Champagne is a delicate wine which must be kept away from temperature variations and light. In the region, it’s kept in cellars. We currently have 1.2 billion bottles aging in the champagne cellars.

How to Pair Champagne

Champagne pairs well with traditional as well as more unusual food and dishes. For Champagne Day, September 21, try a Chardonnay-based Champagne breakfast wine that pairs well with Fluffy omelets, creamy scrambled eggs, Eggs Benedict or Florentine and smoked salmon.

Choose a Vintage option ( a blend of wines from the same harvest) to pair with white meat such as chicken, capon or turkey. Pink Champagne will ideally match smoked salmon but also has its place with cheese – especially goat and sheep cheeses.

With Comte-style cheese, pick a blanc de noirs made with pinot noir or Meunier. If you are a group of fish-loving friends pour a refreshing glass of Rosé Champagne with grilled salmon steaks and king prawns. Finally, choose a sweeter-style of Champagne to sip with desserts.

How to Serve Champagne

Twist the bottle…

The pressure in a Champagne bottle is 70-90 pounds per square inch. This is about two atmospheres! It’s nothing to play with and can cause injury.

Two easy tips to remember to successfully open a bottle: always keep your thumb firmly on the cork once the wire cage (‘muselet’) is off and always twist the bottle not the cork. It will ensure the cork eases off and your bottle opens without precious spillage.

Note: All corks from Champagne must be stamped with “Champagne” and the date of vintage. This is great for special occasions!

The ideal temperature…

The ideal temperature to serve is between 45-50 F. To chill your bottles to perfection, place them in the lower part of your fridge for 3-4 hours or in a mix of water and ice cubes 30minutes prior to opening them. If it is any colder the Champagne will numb the taste buds. Under no circumstances chill a bottle of Champagne in the freezer, and never serve it in pre-chilled glasses or it will lose some of its sparkles.

Do not forget to add water as ice only will take much longer to bring bottles to perfect chilling temperature.

What shape of the glass is best?

The traditional flute still has a place to play even though the old favorite is quickly being edged out by tulip-shaped glassware such as for-instance the latest Riedel Veritas glass.

The tulip-shaped helps the aromas develop and enhances our drinking experience. Saucer-shaped ‘coupes’ popular in the 1920s for their stable base when carried on trays, rapidly dissipate Champagne bubbles and are better left to the flapper girls era.

The traditional flute still has a place to play even though the old favorite is quickly being edged out by tulip-shaped glassware such as for-instance the latest Riedel Veritas glass.

The tulip-shaped helps the aromas develop and enhances our drinking experience. Saucer-shaped ‘coupes’ popular in the 1920s for their stable base when carried on trays.

How do you pour it?

Preferably not by tilting the glass and not to the rim. Pour a third in each glass to let the effervescence settle, then pour another third.

Always leave a 2 finger space at the top. Then you and your guests are ready to enjoy Champagne, the pinnacle of sparkling wines!

Grapes used to make Champagne

  • Pinot Noir – adds orange and red fruit flavors
  • Pinot Meunier – adds richness and yellow apple flavors
  • Chardonnay – Adds citrus flavors and marzipan flavors

Note: These grapes from Champagne produce more intense wines then from their native Burgundy

Terroir

The chalkiness and poverty of the soil in the Champagne Region are responsible for the special quality and elegance found in the wines from Champagne. The chalky soil helps to both reflect and absorb the sun light giving it extra warmth for the cool nights.

83,000 acres of grapes grown in Champagne

Common Styles

  • Non Vintage – Consistent house – style wines. Age for a minimum of 15 months.
  • Blans de Blanc – P. Noir and P Meunier wines
  • Rose – wines with red fruit flavors
  • Vintage & Special Cuvee – Aged Champagne wines. Vintage Champagnes age for a minimum of 36 months. Special Cuvee Champagnes age an average of 6-7 years to develop nutty tertiary aromas.

More than 90% of Champagne is made in the brut style- with less than half a gram of sugar per glass.

Dominant flavors

  • Citrus
  • Peach
  • White Cherry
  • Almond
  • Toast

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