BUBBLES 101…

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    Bubbles

    Big spirits inventory and fine wine.

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    I LUV me some Bubbles…Morning, Afternoon or Evening, there is always time for bubbles.

    One of the most common questions I get asked, aside from what George Clooney is like as a husband…

    Is what is the difference between, Prosecco, Sparkling Wine and Champagne…and it short…the answer is…LOTS!

    Let’s break down the Bubbles…

    Prosecco

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    An Italian sparkling wine, generally a Dry or Extra Dry wine.Usually made from Glera (Prosecco) grapes.

    For Prosecco to be a true Prosecco, the wine must be made with Prosecco grapes, and must be produced in the Veneto region of Italy.

    Much like the French have Champagne…The Italians have true Prosecco.Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 11.32.12 AM

    Prosecco, like champagne,  is fermented twice, however not in barrels but in  large stainless steel vats. The vats speed up this process, and make the production of Prosecco less time-consuming and much less expensive. This is the Italian method known as Charmat and is best used on young wines such as sparkling, that are meant to be drunk when they are fresh.

    Prosecco is very light in alcohol content, usually around 11% . It is easy drinking and easy on your pocket-book, average is around $14 a bottle…

    This is why for me it is the perfect any occasion bubbly! It is perfect on its own or a great ingredient for some bubble cocktails.

     

     

    Sparkling

     

    As per Wikepedia…JT-ENT-Sauvignon-Blanc-High-Res

    Sparkling wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it making it fizzy. The carbon dioxide may result from natural fermentation, either in a bottle, as with the méthode Champenois, in a large tank designed to withstand the pressures involved (as in the Charmat process), or as a result of carbon dioxide injection.

    Quite simply put…All other wines that are bubbly and are not from Champagne France or Veneto Italy, are sparkling wines.

    Sparkling wines can be made in the exact same way as Champagne. Even using all the same grapes and methods. However unless it comes from the Champagne region, it can not be called champagne. So as you can imagine there are some really fantastic Sparkling Wines on the market. The prices of these vary as to the quality and age of the wine.

    JT-ENT-Merlot-High-ResI love to pop a bottle of Jackson Triggs Entourage Gran Reserve Brut...A perfect sparkling wine to start the night off on the right foot. Retails around $3o…They also have a Sparkling Merlot that is FABOOSH!

    For a fun girls night it’s Yellowglen’s PINK sparkling all the way…The bottle is chic and what’s inside is just as lovely. Light pink sparkling wine and at around $12 a bottle you won’t blow your shoe budget!

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    Champagne

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    Oh J’adore PARIS!! Home of CHAMPAGNE!!

     

    I had the pleasure of visiting the champagne house of Piper Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck this summer and never wanted to leave!

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    The primary grapes used in the production of Champagne are Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. What makes Champagne…well Champagne is not just about how it’s made or what is used to make it, but WHERE it is made. Champagne is a sparkling wine like many others, but can only be called Champagne if it is made in the Champagne region of France. It can also only be called champagne if it follows rules and laws of making Champagne. 

    While visiting the AMAZING cellars of the Champagne house of Charles Heidsieck, our fabulous host chose a bottle of 1980 vintage for us to enjoy with lunch…Imagine an over 30-year-old bottle of Champagne for lunch…and it was only a Tuesday!!

    One of the many things I learned about Champagne on my trip was, that like a well aged wine. When you open Champagne it too needs to breathe a little and wake up those bubbles…So you need to decant it…I have never heard of decanting Champagne, but it is now my new favorite thing to do!

    You can imagine how nervous I was when they asked me to decant the vintage 1980 bottle!! I have never done this before and my first try was with a bottle worth thousands of dollars…NO PREASSURE!! It was something I will never forget!

     

    VOILA!! and with just a drop spilt!

    Here is the amazing Decanter I was using fro Riedel … 

    The one thing I was truly left with after all this …Was that life is Far too Short..And we all need to DRINK BUBBLES more often!

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    This is one of the few times I will ever say…Smaller is better..In anything sparkling and drinkable…The smaller the bubbles the better the product…In other spakly things I believe bigger is better…

    Sparkling/Champagne 101-

    Extra Brut – is “extra” dry- less than 1.5% sugar

    Brut – dry (most popular style and very food-friendly) 1.2-2% sugar

    Extra dry – middle of the road dry, not as dry as Brut (great as an aperitif) 1.7-3.5% sugar

    Demi-sec – pretty sweet (pair with fruit and dessert)3.3- 5% sugar

    Doux: very sweet, over 5% sugar (dessert champagne) over 5% sugar

     

     

COMMENTS

2 Responses to Bubbles 101…

  • Deborah / Mom2Michael wrote on December 15, 2013 at 10:59 //

    Great primer! I knew champagne had to be from Champagne, but did not realise it wasn’t its own grape. Very interesting. And decanting?? Who knew! I have a Prosecco and two bottles of Chateau des Charmes Brut here. Should I decant the Brut for Christmas Eve?

  • fredamans wrote on December 15, 2013 at 5:59 //

    I fancy Moscato. It’s my regular go-to drink. :-)