Champagne is perfect for any kind of celebration. Its light and sparkling nature make it an ideal drink for various occasions. However, choosing the best champagne can be quite a challenge, especially if you don’t know what to look for in champagne.
Fortunately, there are some tips you can use to help you choose the best champagne on the market.
Choosing the Best Champagne
Know the Differences
While all champagnes are sparkling wine, not all sparkling wine is champagne. Champagne refers exclusively to sparkling wine made in the region of Champagne, France, and made from the traditional champagne grapes. French champagne is also drier than other sparkling wines.
Decide if You Want Dry or Sweet Champagne
When it comes to champagne, there is dry champagne and sweet champagne. The amount of residual sugar that remains in the finished product is what determines how dry or sweet the resulting wine will taste.
Brut is an example of dry champagne. It contains less than 15 grams of sugar per liter. Moscato wine is an example of sweet, sparkling wine.
Consider the Food Pairings
Champagnes’ crusty acidity and bubbly nature make them an ideal partner for various dishes. Depending on the type of grapes used to produce the champagne, every type of champagne or sparkling wine has alternative food pairings.
For instance, Blanc de blancs [White of whites] – champagne made with 100 percent white grapes goes perfectly with foods such as seafood, vegetarian dishes, and creamy cheese. They can also be served at the start of a meal as an aperitif.
Blanc de noirs [White of blacks] – champagne made with 100 percent black grapes complements heavier foods, such as roasted turkey or duck. They also pair well with pork tenderloin.
Sparkling red champagne, such as Malbec or Shiraz, pairs well with grilled meats and vegetables. These champagnes also compliment spicy foods.
A sparkling rosé, on the other hand, is quite versatile as it pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes, including foods prepared with garlic, Mexican foods, and more.
Consider Your Budget
Before you order your champagne online or visit any wine store, you need to figure out how much you are willing to spend on champagne. Champagne has a varying price. You can get a bottle of champagne for as low as $30 or as high as $300, depending on quality and brand. However, the type of champagne you buy depends on your budget. If your budget allows it, you can go for tasty champagne from top brands.
Age is Important
The aging of champagne is a critical component of production that differentiates it from other sparkling beverages. All champagnes are typically required to age in the bottle for at least 15 months.
However, the best producers can age their champagnes for up to 10 years before release. If the champagne is aged longer, it balances the natural acidity and softens the wine, leading to softer and more incorporated flavors.
Generally, champagne with “vintage” on the label means that the champagne has been aged for a minimum of three years.
Where to Buy Champagne?
Nowadays, there are plenty of online stores selling champagne. You can find a wide selection of champagnes from these online stores. Other than that, you can also speak to your local wine merchant who can help suggest a perfect bottle that suits your taste and budget.
How to Serve Champagne
If you want to get the best bubbles, then you need to serve your champagne cold – around 40-50°F. To get your champagne to that temperature, you need to chill it in the refrigerator for about three hours. Alternatively, you can place the bottle in a bucket or tub filled with ice and water for about 30 minutes.
To keep it chilled, leave the bottle in the bucket between pours. As for opening the champagne bottle, ensure to keep hold of the cork and don’t point the bottle at anyone.
Finally, don’t ever leave the bottle half-opened since it can explode later.
When it comes to glassware, you can opt for a classic champagne flute. The thin neck can keep the contents cool and the narrow opening can help to retain aromas and funnel the bubbles.
The Best Champagne
If you are into sparkling wine, champagne is the perfect option. That’s due to its superior quality and taste. And having the best champagne at an event can make a huge difference.
Whether you opt for a rosé or a red champagne, a blanc de blanc or a blanc de noir champagne, there is always champagne that is perfect for any event.
If you master all the tips mentioned above, choosing the best champagne shouldn’t be as challenging. Regardless of the type of champagne you choose to buy, remember to choose one that is tasty and complements the food being served, or pairs well with a wide variety of dishes.