Champagne is often used for toasting and to celebrate special occasions. But have you ever thought about what this bubbly wine actually is? Well, it’s got a pretty cool story…
First off, in order for a drink to be called champagne, it has to adhere to a variety of strict guidelines. These guidelines are:
- It must come from the Champagne region of France
- It must be produced with one of these 3 varieties of grapes: pinot noir, Pinot Meunier, or chardonnay.
- The grapes have to be pressed by barefoot grape-crushers (no machines are used for real champagne)
- It’s gotta have bubbles!
Anything that doesn’t meet these requirements is just called sparkling wine.
Champagne Involves a Riddler
Different from Batman’s nemesis, The Riddler, a champagne riddler is responsible for removing yeast during the fermentation process. Riddling literally involves moving a bottle an eighth of a turn every day. An experienced riddler can do up to 40,000 bottles a day!
How to Make Sure You’re Drinking Real Quality Champagne
Champagne producers must adhere to a strict set of guidelines known as the “appellation d’origine controlé,” or AOC. If a champagne house wants to boast about being one of the best, it can apply for AOC status. However, it’s not easy to get that AOC stamp on their bottles….
Bottles that bear the AOC stamp must adhere to a set of guidelines based on acceptable land usage, proper region climate and soil quality, a variety of grapes used, the alcohol level of the wine and taste. They even undergo scrutiny by a panel of qualified taste testers.
So if your champagne bottle bears the words “appellation d’origine controlé,” you’re drinking some of the finest stuff in the world!
Are You Using The Proper Champagne Glass?
The champagne glass is almost as important as the champagne itself. There are 3 main varieties of glasses:
Champagne Flute: This is probably the one you’re most familiar with. It’s tall and slender with a narrow opening. This allows a minimal amount of bubbles to be released. However, this narrow opening also prevents the aroma from wafting out of the glass and tickling your nose (not good).
Champagne Coupe: This glass was crazy popular in the 1930s. Coupe’s have shallow bowls with a wide opening. This means you get a load of that champagne aroma but it also means you lose bubbles quickly and the champagne gets warm faster.
Champagne Tulip: This is the glass that champagne aficionados are drinking from. It combines the best of both worlds being kinda tall and narrow but also bows out in the middle (giving it that tulip shape). This allows that aroma to come up, expand, and shoot out into your nose. However, the height of the glass still manages to keep the bubbles in there. This is the glass you should be using! In fact, go pick up a set right now.
So there you have it! Some fun info on champagne so you can enjoy it more and more with every sip.
Anything I missed about champagne that you’ve heard of that I need to know? Hit reply and let me know.
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