Champagne facts for Valentine’s bubbly
Nothing suggests Valentine’s Day more eloquently than the cork popping from a bottle of champagne; after all, it’s the traditional tipple for a celebration. It’s flirty, fun and romantic. So, why not spoil yourself and enjoy this blog while sipping a glass of this sparkling delight…
Did you know?
- The word ‘Champagne’ is only given to sparkling wines emerging from the Champagne region of France; Epernay and Reims being the main towns. However, records indicate the bubbly was first produced in England, circa 1500’s.
- Around 600-800 grapes (approximately 1kg in weight) are required to make one standard sized bottle (750ml) of Champagne.
- Grapes used for making Champagne are harvested earlier than grapes destined for still wines. This is because the acidity levels in the grapes are higher when they are younger and ‘just ripe’.
- Champagne tends to contain less sugar than still wines; a glass of Champagne will usually contain between 6 to 12 grams of sugar per litre. Interestingly, a still wine containing 12 grams of sugar per litre will taste noticeably sweeter than a sparkling wine containing the same amount of sugar. This is because the higher acidity level balances the sugar, giving a less sweet sensation.
- Most non-vintage Champagnes are blends of wines from different years, different vineyard parcels and different grape varieties.
- The ideal serving temperature for champagne is between 6ºC and 10ºC
Releasing the bubbles!
- Be careful when opening a bottle of bubbly; corks can eject at speeds of up to 60 mph and a cork in the eye at that speed will certainly spoil your Valentine’s Day romance!
- Once you’ve successfully popped the cork, you’ll have around 10 million bubbles in every glass of champagne to pleasure your sensory organs.
- To control the wasteful explosion of bubbles fizzing over the rim of your glass; don’t put any fruit, such as strawberries, into the glass prior to filling it.
- For the best bubbles, hold the glass at an angle and decant gently from the top of the glass while you fill it, rather than pouring it straight down from height. Always pour lovingly, steadily and gently.
- Microfibers and gas pockets stuck on the inside of a Champagne glass will influence the timing of bubble trains, capturing them and allowing them to build up before they release into sparkling chains. So, if you like your sparkling wine extra-bubbly, towel dry the glass to ensure tiny fibres are left inside.
- The “bubbliness” of Champagne is dependent upon the glass it’s poured into. The bubbles form on imperfections in the glass surface, therefore, the more imperfections on the glass, the more bubbles will form. So, if you want your Champagne to last longer whilst you take your time drinking it; use an expensive cut crystal glass!
Drinking the good stuff!
- Champagne owes its flavour to its bubbles, which carry aromas directly to the nose. Each bubble carries tens of aromatic compounds.
- The shape of the glass affects your Champagne-drinking experience; the gaseous carbon dioxide and ethanol in the space above the champagne is more concentrated in a tall, narrow flute than a wide, shallow coupe. Flutes also retain the bubbles for longer.
- Always, always, always…hold your champagne glass by the stem! The stem was designed to prevent the warmth of your hand raising the temperature of the Champagne, which ultimately affects the flavour.
- The extra-intoxicated feeling you get after a few glasses of Champagne is real! Blood alcohol levels rise faster in people drinking Champagne compared with those sipping still wine.