Champagne is “the” wine of celebration with approximately 50 million bubbles in a bottle .
Traditionally all champagne only comes from the Champagne Region of France. This region is situated in the area of Reims. The better Champagnes mostly come from Reims, Epernay, Hauteville, Ay, Versus or Ludes. Real Champagne is controlled by the Appellation d’Origine Controllee (AOC). So don't be fooled by Champagnes from South-Africa, Germany or California. These might taste rather good, but they can't possibly be Champagne.
If it does not say France somewhere on the label, it falls into the category of sparkling wine and is simply and unquestionnably not considered true champagne. French champagne at a french wedding is essential.
Second to be called champagne it must be made only from the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or Chandonnay grapes which group in the champagne region. Thirdly true champagne has to have gotten its bubbles by undergoing the fermentation process twice: once in barrels and again in bottles.
France is a country that has an amazing affinity for its land. It is a land of 365 cheeses – a cheese for every day of the week. French people know the different “terroirs” – the country, its micro-climate and its produce and especially its wine.They have an incredible appreciation for the effect of soil, and sun on different plots of land at a cross-intersection where one produces bottles worth 5 euros and another worth 20 and the best worth over 150 euros. You and I might struggle with this but Oz Clark describes it poetically.
Some fine well-known champagne from France include Veuve Clicquot or Moet et Chandon. There are over 5400 Champagne suppliers. The biggest one is Moet Et Chandon which accounts for over 50% of the total world-wide production of French Champagne.
Try champagne sabering, the delicate art of decapitating bottles of champagne.
You could ask your caterers if they will do a display of sabering champagne.This can only be done outside for obvious health and safety reasons.It is a beautiful celebratory touch for champagne for the bride and groom. You need to be very careful. The saberer needs to wear gloves, long sleeves and glasses.
Don’t do it warm unless you want to have champagne sprayed everywhere. The champagne should be ice cold. The colder the better.
Only saber french champagne – The bottles are finer and more saber friendly. Cheaper champagnoise alternatives have been known to explode in a shower of shards and bubbles.
Grab the bottle firmly, by the base, and obviously pointed away from any onlookers. Hold it at a 30 degree to 45 degree angle. Have a close inspection to “locate one of the two vertical seams running up the side of the bottle” to the lip. Slice the foil softly along the line of a seam for a guide to where you need to saber.
Sabering champagne bottles of course should never be done intoxicated. The cork will be travelling at between 30 and 50 mph when it pops depending on the size and pressure contained inside the bottle.
You need to make sure that the sabered glass is collected so it is not a hazard to any one cutting themselves. Also the bottle itself once sabered is incredibly sharp an easy for people to cut themselves on. Be careful please. Nothing ruins a wedding like blood.
Do not swirl your champagne in your glass like a git or a pretentious wine connoisseur. The french call this “champagne battering” because the swirling in thirty seconds destroys the bubbles that took at least three years to produce.
We have been able to buy Veuve Clicquot simply off the shelf one bottle at a time for 23 euros a bottle last year (part of the Intermarche empire) 4 minutes away is cheaper than lots of wine merchants who promise your good prices.
For serving champagne there are two styles of glasses to choose from. The wide rimmed round glasses with shorter stems of yester-years, perfect for a vintage themed reception, or the more modern elongated flute, which provides an elegant air.
Some venues will have both styles of glasses to choose from, while others will require you to seek an outside rental agency to provide them. You may even wish to purchase champagne flutes as a wedding favor to help guests remember what could be possibly their first taste of real champagne.
A tried and true decorative feature that incorporates champagne is the creation of a champagne fountain out of tiered glasses.
If you are opting for a champagne pyramid you need the short champagne glasses as the tall flutes make your tower too high and are the wrong proportion.
For a truly stylish wedding, nothing flows better than true Champagne. If you budget just simply will not stretch that far go for Methode Champenoise – Vouvray from the Loire Valley is a sparkling Chenin Blanc champagne style alternative. The Loire Valley really is the most beautiful wine region in the world with glorious chateaux sprinkled around every bend.Cava is also a reasonably priced alternative. Champagne at the head table at your french wedding chateau is worth the cost. It is your wedding in France and you should splash out on yourselves.
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