Champagne

Champagne 101 Radio Show

Levels of sweetness

Extra Brut (most dry)
Brut (most common)
Extra Dry
Sec
Demi-Sec
Doux (sweetest)

Opening Champagne

To reduce the risk of spilling or spraying any Champagne, open the Champagne bottle by holding the cork and rotating the bottle at an angle in order to ease out the stopper. This method, as opposed to pushing the cork out, prevents the cork from flying out of the bottle.

Use a kitchen towel/linen napkin to cover the cork in case it slips out of your hand.

Pouring Champagne
Pouring sparkling wine while tilting the glass at an angle and gently sliding in the liquid along the side will preserve the most bubbles, as opposed to pouring directly down to create a head of “mousse”,
Colder bottle temperatures also result in reduced loss of gas.

Styles of Champagne
What are the differences in style between a Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs and Rose.
Blanc de Blancs: 100% Chardonnay and lighter bodied than the Blanc de Noirs which are made from only the black/red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Rose may be made with all three varieties and usually red wine is added to the base cuvee.

Champagne Vocabulary
Méthode Champenoise – traditional method of making sparkling wine
Cava – Spanish sparkling wine
Spumante – Italian sparkling wine (any type)
Prosecco – a variety of white wine, usually a sparkling wine, produced in several regions of northern Italy
Sekt – German sparkling wine
Crémant – French sparkling wine (outside of the Champagne region)

Garnishing your Champagne

Simple Fruit
Dropping a simple raspberry, spoonful of pomegranate seeds or perching a strawberry on the rim of the glass is by far the easiest garnish and a touch that is always appreciated by guests.

Herbs
It’s easy to garnish a champagne glass with herbs like rosemary and pomegranate seeds (perfect for the holidays) or even just a sprig of lavender.

Rock Candy
Sound crazy? It’s not (and even more of a reason to use a value champagne) and quite a trendy thing to do with a glass of champagne these days. All you need to do is dunk rock candy on a stick into a glass of champagne. Rock candy also comes in a variety of colors.

Skewered & Sugared Fruit
It’s easy to dip a cocktail stick full of fruit in sugar to freeze as a fun champagne glass garnish. Find small skewers or cocktail picks that fit nicely on top or in the glassware of your choice. Add blueberries or another small fruit to it. Wet the skewered fruit and roll it into granulated sugar. Freeze until ready to serve and garnish on top of a glass. It’s so easy.

Citrus Peels
A simple citrus peel jazzes up a champagne glass in seconds. While a normal vegetable peeler will do as will a pairing knife, but the best gadget for a citrus peel twist is a special citrus stripper that you can find at a kitchen specialty store. Be sure to use organic citrus as pesticides can absorb into the peels.

 

John’s  Picks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California sparkling wine – On sale – $15.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish Cava – On sale $12.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian Prosecco – On sale $10.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Champagne – Splurge – On sale $39.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Champagne – Super Duper Splurge – $119.99

 

Jeff’s Picks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava – On Sale $7.95 (Regularly $10.95)

Pommery Reims Brut Royal – $55.00

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