Champagne

Anything to do with Champagne!

Love Champagne? Don’t Drink It From A Flute!

Champagne flutes are elegant and beautiful. With a long slender stem and tall narrow bowl they are undoubtedly attractive stemware – if you are into that sort of thing of course.

Order some Champagne at a restaurant and every nearby table will watch the bubbles delicately rising in your flutes and wonder what you are celebrating.

Eye catching and evocative they may be but flutes are frankly pants for tasting champagne.

Allegedly Dom Pérignon, a seventeenth century Benedictine monk before he became a luxury champagne brand, is thought to have adopted the flute for Champagne. Apparently this was so he could watch the steady stream of bubbles rising in the glass.

Flutes preserve carbonation in the Champagne as they have a narrow bowl and therefore little surface area exposed to the air.

However, the lack of surface area prevents the bouquet of the wine from coming through. And of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that Champagne is wine!

This must be what the Champagne coupe is for right? Sadly not.

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Mythically modelled after Marie Antoinette’s left breast, the coupe looks a bit like a soup bowl precariously perched on a candle stick. In fact, it was actually designed in 1663 in England of all places predating Marie by a century.

The flute might be poor for bouquet but at least it concentrates the carbonation. The coupe does neither so unless you fancy making a Champagne tower or you are drinking a particularly gassy Champagne then it’s a poor way to experience your wine.

What should you use then? A white wine glass of course! Champagne is often partly or mostly Chardonnay so a white wine glass is most appropriate.

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The best way to get the bouquet and the flavour is to treat it as a wine and drink it accordingly.

If you’ve got a favourite way of getting the best out of your Champagne get in touch and let us know!

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Vintage Champagne – What’s all the fizz about?

Vintage champagne accounts for around 10% of the total production of the Champagne region.

While non-vintage champagnes are produced from a blend of different years’ harvests, vintage champagne is made of a single, usually good quality harvest.

On average producers will declare vintages in 3 out of every 10 years.  Furthermore, all French vintage champagne must lie for a minimum of three years after being bottled.

The production of champagne from a single, good quality crop, combined with the longer ageing process produces a typically fuller and deeper flavour.

This enhanced flavour, combined with the rarity of vintage champagnes when compared to non-vintages, makes for a really indulgent treat.

Tempted to indulge in vintage champagne? Try our Deutz Brut Vintage Champagne 2006. Perfect to drink between 2014 and 2020.

How To Open A Bottle Of Champagne

Opening a bottle of Champagne is an occasion in itself. The sound of popping corks is synonymous with celebration. Here are a number of ways to get your party started!

Formula One Style

While it is true that the champagne bottles found on the winners’ podium of a Formula 1 race have already had the corks removed before the champagne is sprayed, it is also true that shaking a corked bottle will result in the cork flying from the bottle showering those in the immediate vicinity. After all, Champagne was initially known as “the devil’s drink” due to its explosive tendencies. Ultimately, a fun but arguably wasteful method, particularly if it is good champagne!

Sabrage

According to legend Napoleon and his troops invented this method of opening bottles of Moët to celebrate victory. Clearly Napoleon was a fan of Champagne and is widely reported to have commented:

“I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate….and I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself.”

This technique involves sliding a sabre sword along the neck of the bottle breaking the glass. Think carefully before trying this. Assuming you can get a sabre home without violating British knife legislation, think… am I any good with a sabre? Warning, may well result in broken bottles and severed fingers – certainly not recommended.

Slowly and safely

Firstly, remove the foil and loosen the wire cage surrounding the cork. Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle. Start to turn the base of the champagne bottle, while holding the cork and cage firmly. As the cork starts to push out, hold the cork firmly until you hear a soft pop.

While this method lacks some of the ‘show’ of the other methods, the soft pop sound means that you’ve preserved the bubbles in your champagne and you’re ready to serve with your bottle and fingers intact!

So get practising!

Caution, we did warn you about the sabres..

If you have a different method of opening your champagne then please comment or contact us and let us know!

Featured image is “Champagne uncorking photographed with a high speed air-gap flash” by Niels NoordhoekOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.