Champagne 101: Don’t fear the drink

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June 10, 2011 – We all love champagne. The exquisite unique taste that just as soon disappears into your taste buds after it lands, is lovable, but none of us is really comfortable with the whole idea of champagne.

We take it on that special occasion not only because its fizz comes with a shinier penny, but because we are not really sure how to take it.

Though it is derived from the fruit of the vine just as is wine, the glamour attached to champagne is intimidating to say the least. 

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In fact, if you’re keen, you will notice that only the Formula One champions who’ve won several times over are the one confident enough to pop that bottle on the medals podium.

I hope my words will help with this little but massive predicament. 

When popping that champagne bottle… It doesn’t have to be clumsy.

First, remove the foil and the wire from around the cork. Hold the bottle at 45 degrees, with the base in your strong hand and the cork in the other. Twist the bottle while holding the cork steady (if you do it the other way around, you risk shearing the cork). The carbon dioxide in the bottle, along with your gentle encouragement, should result in the cork emerging slowly, not with a loud bang, but with a satisfied, seductive sigh.

Serving it

To get it nice and ready, chill the bubbly in an ice bucket, half filled with ice and half filled with water. If you must refrigerate it, make sure it’s not for more than 4 hours, or it might take on the flavours of the refrigerator. Do NOT freeze it and always serve it crisply chilled. Make sure you serve it in a champagne glass. There no restrictions on the quantities served, but it always works to steer clear of the brim.

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Cocktails

It’s easy to take champagne as is, but if you would like to play with it a little bit, here are some suggestions:

– Classic Champagne Cocktail (dating back to the Metropolitan hotel 1935)

Angostura bitters, 1 cube of sugar and champagne 

– Mimosa

Orange Juice + Champagne + 1 teaspoon Gran Marnier (Originally invented back at The Ritz in Paris, height of fashionable Paris in the early 1900s).

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Don’t forget to follow us on TWITTER @CFMlifestyle and @lwalubengo (the author).

 

 

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