All About Champagne!

I’m not much of a day-drinker, but there is rarely an occasion when I won’t go for a glass of champagne if it’s offered. Most of my friends know they can count on me to have a bottle of bubbly in the fridge and I often get asked why I have a silver spoon sticking out the top of an open bottle.   It got me thinking that you may like to learn a little bit about Champagne.


So, to start off, Champagne is made from 3 grapes… ChardonnayPinot Meunier and Pinot Noir.  The grapes are pressed in a “pressoir”, which keeps the must & the skins from making contact.  The result is Cuvée, which then sits for a couple of days to ferment and is then poured into oak kegs and left for about 10 weeks.   Then it’s bottling time!  Yeasts and sugars are added to the Cuvee, beginning another round of fermentation process. And because carbon dioxide remains in the bottle, champagne gains its bubbles! The smaller the bubbles, the higher quality of the wine.

To Store…

Uncorked, Champagne should be kept horizontally (so the cork doesn’t shrink and let in oxygen) in a very dark, still and cool area.  Contrary to popular belief, Barcelona University research team conducted tests that proved keeping champers in the fridge prevented it developing a browning compound called 5-HMF that turns wine bad.


To Serve…

If it’s not already chilled, don’t put it in the freezer.  Fastest way to chill it is in an ice bath.  To pop the cork, place a kitchen towel over the cork and work it out gently with your hand wrapped around neck & cork over the towel.  The pop will be underwhelming, but won’t make a mess or put anyone’s eye out.  Serve Champagne in flutes that have been rinsed out with cold water to encourage a thick foam of bubbles.  If you plan to mix your champagne into a cocktail, check out WYWH’s Elizabeth Taylor for a delicious Violet & Rose vintage-inspired aperitif.

To Save…

There are conflicting theories if it’s best to place a small sterling silver spoon in the neck of the bottle to store it, or if it doesn’t really matter… but either way, Champagne will stay bubbly for several days after opening, so you can totally use the excuse of a glamorous morning mimosa to finish it off 🙂


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