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Champagne and Sparkling Wines

As quintessential celebratory beverages, these are an appropriate addition to any festive occasion calling for adult libations. These come in a wide variety of palate-pleasing tastes and textures, ensuring there's something for everyone. Even ordinary occasions shine when a bottle or two of fine wine or Champagne has been invited to the party.

How do you choose Champagnes and sparkling wines?

The first step in selecting the ideal beverage for the occasion is knowing the difference between them. Champagne is made in a specific region of France of the same name from classic grapes such as pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier. Sparkling wine, on the other hand, is a generic term representing all wines that have been created using methods promoting optimal carbonation, which provides it with its trademark fizz. Any type of grape can be used, and it can be created in any wine producing region.

How should these beverages be served?
  • Serve these beverages well-chilled. The bottle should be left in the refrigerator for at least three hours before being uncorked.
  • Loosen the cork gently while holding the bottle at a 45-degree angle, keeping the top covered by your thumb.
  • Champagnes and fizzy wines should be served in slender, flute-shaped stemware in order to preserve the character of the bubbles.
On what occasions are these beverages served?

These beverages are generally reserved for celebratory occasions. Following are examples of when bottles are traditionally enjoyed.

Keep in mind that celebrations are highly personal. it's perfectly fine, for instance, to uncork a bottle of your favorite Champagne simply because it's Tuesday night, because you're having lunch with friends, because you've had a great year, or because your dog finally passed obedience training.

  • New Year's Eve: Champagne is the quintessential beverage for bringing in the New Year.
  • Wedding Anniversaries: Whether it's your first or your 75th, bubbly beverages are an ideal choice.
  • Wedding toasts: Start your marriage off right with a Champagne toast.
What foods go with Champagne?

An often undisclosed culinary secret is that these beverages pair extremely well with fried foods. Try pairing a bottle of vintage Moet with a plate of fried calamari, or serve a bottle of dry Brut with fried shrimp or deep-fried halibut and chips. Other tasty combinations include vintage Champagne with ripe, freshly picked fruit, a summer salad with a cold bottle of Armand de Brignac, and a bottle of sparkling rose wine with pan-fried wild salmon.

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