Many people associate this drink with the New Year, the chiming clock, light drunkenness and, of course, happy moments. But after reading this article, your opinion about champagne can change dramatically. No, you will by no means be disappointed in your favorite drink! On the contrary, you will most likely fall in love with this sparkling wine even more.
In order for a sparkling wine to be called champagne, it must meet at least two requirements. First: come from the Champagne province in the north of France. Second: it is made in a special way, which winemakers call Method Champenoise (secondary fermentation in a bottle). And although many people use the term "champagne" as a generalized term for all sparkling wines, the French at the level of international treaties back in 1891 secured the exclusive right to this name.
- Champagne or sparkling wine?
- How is sparkling wine made?
- Champagne sweetness: how to choose
- How to open the bottle correctly
- How to store
- How to chill a drink
- What is combined with
- Nutritional value of champagne
- Useful properties of sparkling drinks
- Interesting facts from the history of champagne
But why is the Champagne province unique for winemaking? The geographical location influences the climate of the province: it is slightly colder than in other wine-growing regions of France. As a result, the grapes in Champagne have the most correct acidity for the production of sparkling wines. In addition, for the quality of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, the porous chalk soil of northern France (formed as a result of major earthquakes millions of years ago) promotes proper drainage, which also affects the taste of ripe berries.
Champagne from France is already a brand that has been tested for centuries. But there are many wine regions in the world that produce equally delicious sparkling drinks. For example, wines from California, Italy, Spain, Australia are highly valued, so it is not always justified to shell out a lot of money for Dom Perignon.
By the way, contrary to popular belief, the namesake of the famous brand did not invent champagne. But the Benedictine monk Pierre Perignon, who was in charge of the cellars in the abbey near Epernay in the 17th century, made a huge contribution to the development of winemaking. In fact, at the time of Perignon, bubbles in wine were considered a flaw, and the production of such a drink in ancient times was dangerous. If, during fermentation, one bottle broke down and exploded, a chain reaction was triggered in the basement.
Perignon standardized the methods of wine production. He introduced thicker glass bottles that withstood the pressure during secondary fermentation, and rope cork stoppers that prevented unwanted "shots".
The life of sparkling drinks begins exactly like other wines. The grapes are harvested, pressed and primary fermentation is carried out. Then the fermentation product is mixed with a small amount of sugar and yeast, bottled, where the drink undergoes a secondary fermentation stage. It is thanks to the secondary fermentation that bubbles appear in sparkling drinks. Bottles with wine in a horizontal position can be stored for 15 months or longer. The winemakers then turn the container upside down so that the dead yeast settles. At the final stage, the bottles are uncorked, the drink is cleaned of yeast, a little sugar is added (to give a certain sweetness to the champagne) and corked.
Champagne is usually made from a mixture of several grape varieties: Chardonnay and red Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier. Only Blanc de Blanc champagne is made exclusively from Chardonnay (thanks to its citrus notes, it is ideal for aperitifs). And only red berries are used for Blanc de Noir (this drink has a more pronounced aroma of cherries, strawberries and spices). For rosé sparkling wines, light red fruits and slightly unripe strawberries are used.
Sparkling drinks can range in color from pale golden to rich apricot. The taste is also very broad. As for the sweetness of the drink, this characteristic is perhaps the main one when choosing a drink and is always indicated on the label.
According to the level of sweetness, sparkling wines are:
- doux - very sweet, dessert (more than 5% sugar);
- demi-sec - sweet, dessert (3.3-5% sugar);
- sec - slightly sweet (1.7-3.5% sugar);
- extra sec - dry (1.2-2% sugar);
- brut - very dry (less than 1.5% sugar).
Sometimes brut wines are divided into 3 subgroups: brut, extra brut and brut naturel (the driest wine).
They say that a champagne cork can fly out at a speed of 100 km / h, so you need to be extremely careful when opening a sparkling wine. Here are some guidelines on how to open champagne correctly:
Loud "shots" of champagne, according to winemakers, is not only bad manners, but also a sure way to destroy the structure of wine.
Non-branded champagne, like any other sparkling wines, is not intended for long-term storage. The fact is that a special method is used for the production of these drinks, thanks to which the wines are already ideal for consumption. Therefore, sparkling drinks are usually stored in a cool, dark place (not a refrigerator). An open bottle can be placed in the refrigerator, but no longer than 24 hours, by sealing it with a special stopper. And yet, champagne does not belong to the drinks that get better with age.
Did you know that if the champagne has lost its sparkle, there is a chance to resurrect the bubbles? To do this, you need to throw a zest into a bottle of wine. The dried grapes will "start" the process of producing bubbles. And speaking of bubbles. They indicate the quality of sparkling wine. The better the drink, the finer the bubbles in the glass.
Sparkling wines should be chilled before serving. The only correct way to cool a bottle of champagne is to immerse it in a bucket of ice water 15-20 minutes before use (the proportion of water and ice is 1: 1). Alternatively, you can place a bottle of wine on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. But in no case should you resort to the services of a freezer for faster cooling. Sudden changes in temperature will destroy the aroma and taste of the drink.
According to many wine connoisseurs, champagne is not the best choice for alcoholic cocktails. For such purposes, it is better to choose any sparkling wine or some other alcohol. Real champagne is created for pure enjoyment. According to wine connoisseurs, adding strawberries or other fruits to glasses cannot improve the taste of the drink, although it cannot worsen it either.
When it comes to combining champagne with food, the wine variety is the determining factor. So, Blanc de Blanc is especially good with shellfish, while Pinot Noir or Blanc de Noir goes well with game birds.
One glass of sparkling wine contains about 70 calories, 1 g of protein, 5 g of sodium, and no fiber, fat or cholesterol at all.
It turns out that champagne is not only a traditional drink on New Year's Eve or other celebrations. Sparkling wines are good for the heart, skin, and many other benefits for the body. And research shows that drinking one glass a week is enough to benefit from champagne. If more, the effect will be, like any other drink - instead of a useful one, it will turn into a drink hazardous to health.
Six reasons to open a bottle of champagne:
The carbon dioxide in champagne can help tighten the skin. This drink also contains polyphenols, plant-based substances with antioxidant properties that prevent redness of the skin.
In addition to ingestion, you can resort to champagne baths to improve the condition of the skin. Of course, inheriting Merlin Monroe is very expensive. The actress, according to some sources, took a bath of champagne at least once, which took more than 350 bottles of sparkling drink. But this procedure can be made cheaper, but no less effective.
For a champagne bath, you will need 1 glass of milk powder, half a glass of sea salt, 1 glass (or more, if you want) of sparkling drink (you can take cheap options) and 1 tablespoon of honey. Mix all components thoroughly and pour into a bath with warm water. And to finally feel like in a fairy tale, add rose petals to the water. This is not only romantic, but also beneficial for the skin - it improves its tone. And of course, how can one not indulge oneself with a glass of sparkling wine in such an atmosphere?
Tough day? Feeling annoyed? A glass of champagne will help relieve stress and improve your mood. Studies have shown that sparkling drinks contain trace elements that, in moderation, improve the nervous system.
You can enhance this effect if you steam a fish dish with champagne. Best of all, if it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon or mackerel. They also know how to improve your mood.
Champagne is the best alcoholic beverage for weight watchers. A small glass of drink is only 78 kcal. By the way, this is one of the most dietary foods. For comparison, a glass of red or white wine contains about 120 calories.
Research carried out by British scientists in 2013 showed that 3 glasses of sparkling wine a week helps prevent memory loss and protects the brain from diseases, including Alzheimer's and dementia. The researchers also found that grapes grown in the Champagne region (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) contain high levels of phenolic compounds that affect the cerebral cortex, thereby enhancing memory and learning abilities.
A glass of good champagne is heart-healthy, as is a serving of red wine. This is because the sparkling drink is made from red and white grapes. Therefore, the product contains rasveratrol, an antioxidant that prevents damage to blood vessels, lowers cholesterol levels, and prevents blood clots.
The antioxidants found in Champagne grapes slow down the elimination of nitric acid from the blood, which leads to a decrease in blood pressure.
But again, it should be remembered: these benefits are possible only with the consumption of moderate doses of the drink. After all, as Churchill said: "One glass of champagne enthralls, a bottle evokes the opposite." Remember this and a sparkling drink will never harm you.
- basic level: 60 glasses;
- level 1: 30 glasses;
- level 2: 10 glasses;
- level 3: 4 glasses;
- level 4: 1 glass.
Champagne has long become synonymous with holidays, elegance and beautiful life. But in addition to the beneficial properties that this drink carries, it is important to remember that this is alcohol. And alcohol, even the most refined, in excessive portions is extremely dangerous.