Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Let's Talk Bubbly

Anyone who personally knows me, and those of you who know me through my blog know that I love bubbly all year round. Prosecco is one of my very favorites. So with New Year's Eve just a day away, here are some tips, facts and gloassary terms as related to sparkling wine.

Blanc de blancs: Sparking wine made from chardonnay grapes.

Blanc de noirs: Sparkling wine made form red grapes, typically pinot noir and pinot meunier.

Chill Out: To get a room temperature bottle to the proper level of cool, fill a bucket half full with ice cubes and the other half with ice-cold water; submerge your bottle in this cold bath for 20 to 30 minutes. You can also run cold water on bottom of bottle and place in freezer.

Rose: A champagne with pinot noir added to the base blend, giving the wine various shades of pink color.

Serving Temperature: 40 to 45 degrees F for non-vintage bottles, 50 degrees for vintage champagne and other prestigious bottles.

Food Pairings: Okay, the experts always say serve sparkling wine with oysters, lobster, mild cheeses, ham (for Rose champagnes), spicy Asian food, dishes with mushrooms and caviar. Salty snacks like popcorn and potato chiops also work. Personally, I like champagne with just about everything.

Stemware: Use a proper wine flute, which will show off the sparkler's fizzy nature. In a pinch, you can use a Bordeaux glass. The distribution of bubbles own;t be n display, but the bouquet will be captured properly. Stemware used for pinot noir/Burgundy, however, is too bulbous. Fill each flute two-thirds of the way with sparkling wine.

Sweetness Levels From Driest to Sweetest: Extra brut, brut, extra dry, sec, demi-sec, doux.

Vintage Champagne: Champagne for which at least 85 percent of its grapes come from a particular year. Non-vintage Champagne blends multiple years in a single bottle. Unlike most wines, non-vintage Champagne can be better than its vintage counterpart.
Sources: "The Wine Bible," "Exploring Wine," "Wine for Dummies."

1 comment:

Jen said...

Thank you for the bubbly info! I just picked up an inexpensive bottle for New Years Eve; John I think prefers wine, so I spent a little on the Cabernet, and just got a little bubbly on sale! But we will use our wedding toast glasses, so that will make it special!