I don’t remember my first glass of Champagne but I’ve always love bubbly drinks. My friend Jen and I would drink Clearly Canadian to ring in the New Year when we were in middle school. Ever since then, my drink of choice has always been bubbly. Champagne was and still is linked to celebration, but we should celebrate life every day. Any time is a good time for drinks that sparkle!
Everything about Champagne feels right…the freshness, the bubbles, and it’s easy to drink at any occasion. Gigi would agree…
The night they invented champagne
It’s plain as it can be
They thought of you and me
The night they invented champagne
They absolutely knew that all we’d want to do
Is fly to the sky on champagne.
Champagne tends to be in a class of its own. Sparkling wines are the ultimate in chic drinks…like Chanel’s little black dress (or Marie’s pretty pink one). Marlene Dietrich said, “Champagne makes you feel like its Sunday and better days are just around the corner.
Need more reasons to sip, savor and celebrate? Here are ten things you will be thrilled to know about Champagne…
1. Champagne is from a specific region in France (named Champagne) and is considered the pinnacle of sparkling wine. Its production requires extra years of maturation, and the fruit itself is more expensive. Spanish Cavas and Italian Proseccos are refreshing and delicious, but they lack the depth of Champagnes because they are made from lesser quality grapes, produced in tanks rather than bottles, and not aged as long. Champagne is about 90 miles from Paris and it’s so far north that it’s almost too cold to fully ripen the grapes, which explains the finesse and acidic taste of its wine.
2. There are about 1.000,000 bubbles in a glass of Champagne.
3. Hold your glass by the stem and not by the bowl because your hands will warm the champagne up too quickly…And, holding the glass by the stem will make you look oh so chic!
4. Vintage matters! The region in France where Champagne is produced has had erratic seasons for the past fifteen years, so there’s a great difference among vintages.
5. The best vintages are from: 1996, 2002 and 2008.
6. Chill sparkling wine at a temperature between 46 and 54 degrees Fahrenheit but not until you’re ready to drink it. Champagne shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator because the cork dries out and shrinks so that the carbonation is able to escape, and other smells from the refrigerator can get in. Keep the cork damp to ensure a tight seal by storing Champagne (and all wine) on its side.
7. Enjoy champagne throughout an entire meal! Many people think they should only enjoy Champagne as an aperitif but that it is not the only way to drink it. Pair your Champagne with many flavors…chicken, seafood, vegetable dishes, fruit, cheese, risotto, tacos and my favorite…pizza! It can bring out new flavors you’ve never tasted in these foods!
8. If you married a bartender, like I did, you’ll know that the goal to opening a bottle is to do it quietly and gently, without the pop. This way you keep the bubbles in the wine. Hold the bottle in your hand at an angle with the neck pointed away from you and others. Grasp the cork between thumb and forefinger, then turn the bottle. When you feel the cork start to give, slowly pull it to one side so the gas releases gradually.
9. Champagne makes you more beautiful! It detoxifies the skin with antioxidants, and its lightening tartaric acid helps even out the skin tone and for those with oily skin, its antibacterial properties can help with breakouts.
10. Drinking Champagne can prevent dementia and memory loss. A study at the University of Reading determined that drinking one to three glasses of Champagne each week can boost brain health.
Bubbles, bubbles fizzing in our coupes…keep on popping bottles. If you have a bottle of champagne in your refrigerator, don’t wait for a special occasion to enjoy it…open that bottle and the special occasion will come to you. Celebrate life every day! Santé! xx