Quick Recipes and Easy

Champagne Drinks

For Dom Pérignon and his contemporaries, sparkling wine was not an intended and desired end product. Instead it was a sign of poor wine making, a sign that showed there was something done during the process of wine making that went incorrect and made the wine go bubbly. They christened this unstable wine the “mad wine.”

Champagne is a region in France that has been vital in history through the ages for various reasons, with wine being the one that comes immediately to mind. The bubbles in champagne are a natural process arising from the region’s cold climate and small growing season. In the natural process, cold winter temperatures stop the fermentation process and as spring steps in the fermentation restarts. This leads to the formation of carbon dioxide inside the bottle. It is this trapped carbon dioxide that gives champagne its sparkle.

Champagne is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Muscat and other grapes. Several different types of champagne are available in the market. Brut is the driest, and considered the “standard” for champagne. Other varieties are extra-dry, Sec (which is sweet), and Demi-Sec, which is even sweeter.

Any wine resembling champagne is called “sparkling wine” when it is sourced from outside France. Sparkling wines are sourced from several other places all over the world. Spain calls its champagne Cava, or Cellar. South Africa uses the term Cap Classique or Cape Classic and Germany calls them Sekt, and then there is the Asti Spumanti from Italy.

The best and most expensive champagne is the prestige champagne also known as “tetes de cuvee.” These are produced from the finest vineyards, usually grand cru vineyards that a wine house has at its disposal. The prestige cuvees undergo a closely monitored and long fermenting process before being readied for the market. A tetes de cuvee is an expensive wine to produce as it is left to age for a very long time. The 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires, which retails for $90 is brilliant champagne that was released 10 years after it was made.

Vintage champagne get labeled as vintage because they are from a single year’s worth of grapes. Unlabeled or non-vintage bottles are from a blend of several different years and have their own charm. Pol Roger, Veuve Clicquot, Perrier-Jouet, Piper-Heidsieck, Pommery, Taittinger and Mumm Cordon Rouge are names of large, well established houses, and their wines are honestly simple to find.

Experts advise chilling the champagne for a few hours in the fridge before serving. Champagne should ideally be served in tall, narrow-necked glasses, called flutes. Wide brimmed glasses hurt both the bubbles and the flavor of champagne.

e-Champagne.com Champagne provides detailed information on Champagne, French Champagne, Champagne Glasses, Champagne Racks and more. Champagne is affiliated with i-Alcohol.com Alcohol Treatments.

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