Champagne is the only drink that leaves a woman still beautiful after drinking it. – Madame de Pompadour
Let’s be real: Rosé colored glasses are great, but a glass with bubbles is better. 😉 Before partaking in one of the best hobbies – drinking Champagne, you might appreciate a little primer to get you started.
Brut, Extra Dry, Sec, Demi Sec
What’s the story? Confusingly, Brut is drier than extra dry, which is considered semidry. Sec is middle of the road semisweet and demi-sec is sweet. Most Champagne lovers enjoy an acidic, dry Champagne as aperitifs, and sec or demi-sec with dessert. When drinking Champagne all day long, brut is definitely the way to go.
Pop, Fizz, Clink
With Champagne, half the sexiness is drinking it and the other half comes from opening it. There’s two schools of thought with opening Champagne. The first is a loud, boisterous affair drawing copious amounts of attention. We’ve all seen the bottle pop and the cork go flying across the room. That approach is a bit tacky and detracts from the sexy sophistication that’s inherently Champagne. If you’re looking for a little fun, try this party trick. It’s a tamer, more interesting way of popping bottles.
The second – and more appropriate – approach to opening Champagne is the classic, refined way. First, make sure the bottle is well chilled. Remove the foil and wire cage and place your hand on top of the cork (keeping it there until the bottle is open). Put a cloth napkin over the top of the cork, then gently turn the bottle in one direction and the cork in the other. While a loud pop is fun, aim to ease the cork out instead so you don’t allow too much carbon dioxide to escape. Et voilà!
Champagne v Sparkling
It’s fun to drink it, but knowing a thing or two can help you appreciate what’s in your glass. Champagne is made by a process called Méthode Champenoise, and this is used by most producers around the world. However, in order for a wine to truly be labeled Champagne, it must come from the french region of Champagne. Wines produced outside of this region will either be called sparkling wine or may take on another regional label such as Prosecco (and the process will then be called Méthode Tradicional). Champagnes tend to be a little pricier (because we all know labels matter), whereas many “Champagne-style” sparkling wines can be a great value.
To Veuve or Not to Veuve
Veuve is considered the go-to for Champagne enthusiasts and novices alike. Whether you see the Real Housewives waving it as host gifts or your boss gifting it to a client, it is a good wine. Perrier Jouet is great for splurging, and no one will turn down Moet & Chandon. But our favorite…and I can’t believe I’m sharing this with you…comes from a little house in New Mexico called Gruet. Made in the Méthode Tradicional, Gruet offers an incredible price point, a variety of styles and is consistently delightful.
So grab a coupe, some girlfriends and Gruet, and cheers Darling!