Three Things You Need to Know About Champagne
Champagne is arguably the most iconic of all celebratory beverages. Going back to the days of the French monarchs who were crowned in the Reims cathedral in the heart of the Champagne region, this classic bubbly can be found at just about every major milestone or party. But the time of year we most associate with Champagne is New Years Eve. So here are three things you need to know about Champagne before you ring in the New Year.
WHY IT’S CALLED CHAMPAGNE
Champagne is called “Champagne” because it’s from Champagne. It’s as simple as that. Though winemakers in other regions like Napa might slap “Champagne” on their labels, these wines are, by definition, not champagne. Even traditional French winemakers like Moët & Chandon and Taittinger, who also make wines in Napa, do not call their California varieties “Champagne.” They use the phrase méthode champenoise to designate it’s similar production methods, but it is not made with the same grapes.
IT PAIRS WELL WITH JUST ABOUT ANY FOOD
Though we typically drink champagne when we celebrate, which often means we consume it with fine foods, it actually pairs well with just about anything. Having a barbecue on a hot summer day? Try a class of Champagne. Looking for a nice crisp wine to go with your ham sandwich? Champagne is diverse enough to handle it. The moral of the story here is you should drink Champagne when you want, not when you think you’re supposed to drink it.
YOU’RE PROBABLY USING THE WRONG GLASS
Flutes are the favorite vessel for consuming champagne. While the elongated glass provides a larger canvas for the rising bubbles, it doesn’t exactly maximize the aroma and flavor potential of the wine, though. To get the most out of your Champagne, it’s best to drink it out of a tulip shaped flute. Even better, use a champagne coupe glass, which are rumored to be modeled after Marie-Antoinette’s breasts. Yes, the French do love their Champagne.