Champagne is a carbonated sparkling wine beverage that is usually used for special occasions. True Champagne is made in the Champagne region of France and its bubbles are made through an in-bottle secondary fermentation, a process called "méthode Champenoise".
The amount of sugar (dosage) added after the second fermentation and aging varies and will dictate the sweetness level of the Champagne.
* Brut Natural or Brut Zéro (less than 3 grams of sugar per liter)
* Extra Brut (less than 6 grams of sugar per liter)
* Brut (less than 15 grams of sugar per liter)
* Extra Sec or Extra Dry (12 to 20 grams of sugar per liter)
* Sec (17 to 35 grams of sugar per liter)
* Demi-Sec (33 to 50 grams of sugar per liter)
* Doux (more than 50 grams of sugar per liter)
The outside of the cork is protected by a cage. There are exactly six and a half twists that secure the cage around the cork.
Soft bubbly liquid that contains alcohol due to the fact that it comes from wine family.
Selecting and Buying
Set a budget. Despite what you have seen on TV, not everyone takes out a second mortgage to afford the finest bottle of Champagne on the market. If you're hosting a black tie soiree in your penthouse apartment, spending a few hundred bucks per bottle is reasonable. If you're hooking up with your pals in a convenience store parking lot to watch fireworks, any three buck champagne should do just fine.
Don't skimp on the amount of bubbly you buy. When figuring out what kind of bubbly to buy, take into account how many people you're likely to be serving. If you're having 50 folks over to your place on New Year's Eve, one high-end bottle will send most of them home grumbling. You should have at least enough Champagne on hand for one good-sized glass and one refill, per guest. As a rough rule, each bottle of Champagne is enough for about 10 hearty toasts.
Don't be intimidated. You know with whom you'll be ringing in the New Year, so you know if they're a) the type of people who will look at you crosswise for bringing a 1985 vintage capital-C Champagne when 1987 is all the rage or b) couldn't tell a genuine Champagne from a California champagne from a sweetened wine cooler. Don't be cowed into spending more than you can afford, and remember, it's New Year's Eve-the next morning, most folks are unlikely to remember who brought what.
Preparation and Use
Champagnes are used as another alcoholic beverage, but in some country, people shot a glass of champagne before taking breakfast believing that champagne help break down the nutrients and absorption of food that they take for the whole day.
Conserving and Storing
How to store unopened Champagne:
* Your cellar is the best place, especially if its cool and damp downstairs.
* Champagne can be best stored a dark and damp place where the temperature is between 50-55° F.
* Remember, a slight fluctuation in the temperature is fine, however, any extreme change, be it on higher or lower side, can completely spoil this sumptuous sparkling wine.
* Older the wine, better the taste – well, not anymore. This has proven to be a myth, especially, when it comes to champagne. Thanks to wine experts who have worked on developing such marvelous taste of the sparkling wine, believe it that storing champagne won’t make it any better. And, that stands true for all the wines. However, the champagne usually enjoys a shelf-life of 3-4 years.
* Champagne should not be refrigerated for more than 2-3 days before being opened to serve.
* In case some bottles are left unopened after the occasion, keep them back in the cellar.
How to store left-over Champagne:
More than opening a champagne bottle, trying to put it back in the bottle is even more tedious. yes, I am hinting at storing the left-over champagne. You can coral the bubbles, provide you follow the tips below carefully:
* First and foremost is to get a pressure-withstanding cap, specially available for champagne bottle.
* Second is as simple as placing a metal spoon at the neck of the bottle to keep the fizz intact.
* Third is little more complicated, unless you know how to pump-out oxygen and pump-in carbon dioxide.
* Last but not the least is the time tested method. Simply leave the opened bottle in upright position in your refrigerator.
In general, all Champagnes improve with aging. This is especially true with vintage Champagnes. Age Champagne for a few years as long as you have a good place to store it. You shouldn't keep it in the fridge; a wine refrigerator set somewhere in the 50's (F) is ideal. If you don't have a wine refrigerator, next best is a dark, cool closet (light is bad for Champagne and wine in general. The place should be fairly humid because the cork can dry out if it's not humid (which is true for all corked wine). And it should be a place that's free from vibrations such as washing machine, doors opening and closing, etc. If you want to store Champagne, you really need to have these conditions, otherwise there's no sense in storing.