Know how to buy champagne
is not necessarily the most expensive! In Champagne country, a tradition is that wines are assembled from several years. Each year, part of the harvest is set aside to enter in future assemblies. With these reserve wines, the winemaker is able to sustain the taste and style of the Champagne
Therefore the assembly said “non-vintage” is that which expresses perfectly the style of each brand. If the typicality of the harvest should be magnified, the producer may decide to make a vintage wine, also called a millesime en french but it remains quite exceptional. A vintage Champagne will always be a wine marked by the character of his years.
What to serve with Champagne?
Champagne can be used for any occasion, but also be the unique wine of any meal.
Generally, gross and champagne blanc de blancs can be drunk as an aperitif, to accompany appetizers, fish dishes and seafood.
The vintage champagne and roses will be served with meat dishes and cheeses.
The sweeter champagnes (dry, medium dry) are perfect for dessert.
The temperature is important. Serve chilled champagne, at a temperature of 6 to 8°c.
The best way to cool a bottle of champagne is placed in an Ice bucket
filled halfway with water and a dozen ice cubes for half an hour. Another way is to place the bottle of champagne in the fridge.
After opening the bottle, the optimum temperature in the glass of champagne is 9 °. The oldest champagne can be served at cellar temperature, ie 14°c.
The service of Champagne
The bottle must not remain in light, including artificial lighting, because the champagne is rapidly taking a “stale”. That’s why champagne is usually served in an ice bucket, wrapped or covered with a towel. We also advise you to pack the bottle if you come out of the refrigerator.
For the service, use of flutes rather than cuts, the shape of the flute allows for better development of flavors and tastes. Fill the flute an half, to keep the champagne at the right temperature, and up to two thirds.
Finally, the number of bottles per person varies depending on the occasion:
For an appetizer, a bottle will be enough for four people;
For lunch, expect a bottle for two or even one bottle per person if the meal is champagne only;
For dessert, a bottle for eight.
Champagne: accompaniment ideas
The champagne is drunk at 10 or 12 degrees, ie at the temperature of the cellar some say, 7-8 degrees, is the most common view is the temperature that allows the best development of the bouquet and take the foam at its best. This temperature is obtained by immersing the bottle for 1 hour in an ice jumping half full of cold water and ice. Especially, do not impose this delicate wine a prolonged stay in a refrigerator. The cold breaks the bouquet.
Make a meal with Champagne has always been regarded as a refinement, but that requires an art. One should never associate with this wine a dish whose robustness crush the elegance of the wine. Sauces should be avoided, too spicy food, strong cheeses… Champagne only agrees with delicate cheeses: goat, Neuchâtel.
As an aperitif we prefer a plain white to white, light and elegant, as well as for fish and inputs.
A plain white with black, more robust or dry suit to poultry, red meats, and cheeses.
The dry, medium dry, sweet are suitable for desserts and pastries.
If you want to know more about champagne wine and the Champagne region, vines, brands and local producers, we recommend the following books:
- The Finest Wines of Champagne: A Guide to the Best Cuvées, Houses, and Growers (The World’s Finest Wines)
- The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It (P.S.)
- The Bubbly Bar: Champagne and Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion
- Champagne Companion: The Authoritative Connoisseur’s Guide
- Fried Chicken and Champagne