Wednesday, March 17, 2010
There are two important things to know about Champagne.
One, Champagne is wine with bubbles. So it should be drank with lunch and dinner as equally as breakfast! Champagne and Sparkling wine is a great match for fried salty foods. French Fries any one?
Two is that to be called Champagne it must be made in France from french grapes grown in the Champagne region.The main grapes used in Champagne are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, only one of which is a white grape. All other wine with bubbles is Sparking wine. I find it a bit annoying that there are some American wine makers that are calling their sparkling wine, Champagne. Kinda rude?
If you are in Spain Sparkling wine is called Cava mostly from Penedes, near Barcelona. The main Spanish grapes used are Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada. All white grapes. The spanish are not afraid to experiment and are sometimes using Chardonay grapes in the blend.
In California it is Sparkling wine or "Methode Champenoise".
Some helpful information if you are shopping for a sparkling wine is to know how to tell what is sweet and what is dry.
Extra Brut is the driest with only 1% residual sugar
Brut has up up 2% residual sugar and is the most popular style in the world.
Extra Dry (Extra Sec) is the most popular in the US at 1.5% -2.5% residual sugar
Sec 2-4% residual sugar
Demi Sec 4-6% residual sugar
Doux 6 plus %residual sugar
Now for some Champagne trivia for you next party!
There are approximately 1150 grapes used per bottle
The wire cage holding the cork in the bottle is turned 6 1/2 times
And the reason for not pointing the bottle at the people you like while opening is....the cork is expelled out of the bottle at 40 MPH! Duck and cover!
What is your favorite bubbly?