“Come quickly! I am tasting stars!”
Dom Perignon’s comment after his first sip of Champagne
As we head into the season of parties and celebration I thought now would be an apt time to discuss one of my favorite wines… Champagne. I am sure there will be plenty flowing at many celebration events we will all be attending.
Champagne invokes a vivacious, fun, social and elegant taste to any celebration. I love this little sparkling number that instills happiness in me with every sip. Champagne represents a celebration of life whether that be a birthday, a wedding, a holiday party or a Thursday. If I think of ordering a glass of champagne I can feel the smile creeping onto my face like I am going to be up to mischief. I usually am!
The term Champagne refers to wines produced exclusively in the region of Champagne, France. Wines not produced in the region are referred to as sparkling wines or other name from the region it is produced. There are some wines that are allowed to use the term “ Champagne” only as long as they maintain a legal structure of production. The primary grapes used in producing Champagne are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.
People do not generally think of champagne as a partner to food, except for perhaps brunch. However, Champagne can be a wonderful aperitif to work in harmony with many appetizers. Of course, Champagne can still be paired with main dishes, which can be incredibly successful. A great example is of Champagne paired with Swordfish.
Tips for successful matches to Champagne/Sparking Wine…
■ Great for any smoky or salty food as the Champagne’s acidity helps balance the flavors. If you are in for treating yourself then look no further than pairing your Champagne with Caviar.
■ Champagne is the perfect aperitif because it is refreshing and can stimulate the appetite with its effervescence.
■ Champagne is an excellent accompaniment to brunch, as we all know, especially egg dishes.
Fun Facts about Champagne…
■ A champagne cork leaves the bottle at a velocity of approximately 38-40 mph, but can pop out at as fast as 100 mph.
■ Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Hautvillers, is considered to have invented Champagne. He allowed the carbon dioxide to build up in the fermentation process, thus creating bubbles.
■ Legend has it that the champagne “coupe” (a shallow, broad-rimmed goblet) was modeled in the shape of Marie Antoinette’s breast, using wax moulds.
■ There are 49 million bubbles in a 750ml bottle of champagne, give or take a few, as calculated by scientist Bill Lembeck, based on 5.5 atmospheres of pressure, when stored at 20 degrees Celsius.
■ The world’s largest champagne glass, unveiled at a festival in Spoleto, Italy, stands nearly 7-feet tall, and can hold the equivalent of 22 regular bottles (558 ounces) of champagne. That’s a lot of bubbly!
■ Marilyn Monroe is said to have once taken a bath in the bubbly. According to her biographer, it took 350 bottles to fill the tub.
■ The official champagne of the Titanic was Heidsieck & Co Monopole Blue Top Champagne Brut. Rumor has it that a few bottles were brought up with the salvage recently, and still tasted great.
Source: Suite101.com, Wikipedia, The Wine Lover’s Cookbook