I admit I am one of those women who have converted from drinking wine to drinking champagne. The funny thing is it took me a while to learn about wine and by the time I finally got a clear understanding of wine types and pairing, I decided to convert to champagne when I made the decision to eat healthy.
So now I am trying to understand and learn about what makes for a good or excellent champagne or since I am from California – sparking wine. I know, I know there is no comparison and the two are not the same. But, now that I am able to address the beverage by its proper title based on what part of the world it’s from (California, USA or Europe), I want to understand how to choose quality “bubbly” so that I am in line with my healthier eating agenda.
I found my answer here, from one of the best (French of course) wine conesuir I can think of 🙂 and based on what she says, these are the key elements to know and understand when considering champagne to pair with your healthy eating menu.
1. champagne “It’s actually the kindest of wines, lowest in histamines and calories while full of healthy minerals”
2.”Champagne, the one and only, comes from the Champagne region of France. The usual culprit in these head cases is cheap, sweet sparkling wine from California, Italy, Spain or even France, but not from Champagne.”
3. “By law, real Champagne is the most quality-controlled wine on earth. The white grape Chardonnay and the reds Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are gathered from different villages and even different years to be blended by the cellar master.”
4. “85 percent of all Champagne is nonvintage (or multivintage, if you will) and bears no year on the label; the cellar master is not dependent on any one harvest and so can maintain the wine’s consistency and quality.”
5. “Brut is the driest, Extra Dry (despite its name) is a little sweeter, and Demi-sec (half dry) is sweet.”
6. “Besides the vintage and nonvintage Champagne, a small percentage of a premium vintage goes into what is known as a prestige cuvee, such as Dom Pérignon or Veuve Clicquot’s La Grande Dame.”
7. “Champagne’s soul, however, is in its famous bubbles, which result from a second fermentation in the bottle. Just before the cork is inserted and the label affixed, the bottle is topped up with a little Champagne with added sugar; this allows the fermentation to continue and lets the cellar master adjust the sweetness of the wine”
8. “the tulip shape of a Champagne flute keeps the bubbles bubbling longer and the bursting bouquet concentrated (so you should immediately junk those saucer-shaped Champagne glasses apocryphal said to be modeled on the shape of Marie Antoinette’s breasts!).”
9.”Champagne and white wines should be chilled to between 45 and 55 degrees.”
10. “For more thoughtful selections, personal attention and rare bottling, wine shops and specialty retailers are recommended. And you can find good buys there as well”
I have included a wine speciality shop I frequent here for your reference. But I also want to hear from anyone who wants to recommend their favorite shop.