Champagne’s bubbles of fizzy nectar are perfect for special celebrations. Or simply because there’s a Y in the day.
When opening a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine, always twist the bottle, not the cork. Firstly, remove the foil (but not the wire). Then, holding the base of the bottle in one hand, grasp the cork in your other and twist the bottle – at an angle – until the cork comes out of its own accord.
If history is to be believed, Champagne should really be called Carcassone as it was here that sparkling wine was, allegedly, first invented in 1531. Benedictine monks at the time sealed their white wine in cork-stoppered flasks during the initial fermentation period, then undertook a second in-flask fermentation to produce the wine’s sparkling bubbles. As this style of wine making began to take off, another Benedictine monk from the Champagne region of France, Dom Perignon, began to introduce a series of enhancements designed to improve the production and quality of sparkling wine.
Sparkling wine VS Champagne
Champagne is a sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wines are champagne. The term “champagne” has been trademarked by the French and is specific to wines produced within very strict criteria (many of these criteria originally detailed by Dom Perignon). To be called Champagne, a wine must:
- Use grapes grown and harvested within the Champagne delimited area in France
- Use only Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes
- Use the natural wine-making process of ‘Methode Champenoise’ (incorporating the natural yeast fermentation of the wine in the bottle) and
- Be stored, in the bottle, for a minimum of 15 months prior to shipping.
Champane food Matching