No New Year’s Eve celebration is complete without the sweet, bubbly wetness of a tall-stemmed glass full of champagne.The very word champagne evokes a certain feeling of festivity. In the movies and in culture around us, champagne is usually related to a reason to celebrate or be happy. Champagne shows up when people get new jobs, get raises, or get married. There’s just something about it! Champagne first became respected as a festive beverage because it was associated with the anointing of kings in France. Royalty themselves fast embraced this special drink that embodied wealth and luxury, and its popularity grew steadily in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Wine makers were quick to promote this carbonated wine as a drink associated with important life events and important moments in time.
Champagne – A Place or a Name?
Champagne is often confused as a type of alcohol in and of itself. However, it is actually a sparkling wine that is made by using secondary fermentation of wine, which effects its carbonation. The term “champagne” is correctly used when speaking of wine that is geographically produced in the Champagne region of France, but mistakenly has come to be used more broadly as the name used for all sparkling wine. There are laws that have to be followed when it comes to the formal labeling of sparkling wine. These laws prohibit the use of the word champagne in some areas, if the sparkling wine was not in fact produced in Champagne, France. These laws are not in effect in all places, however, which is what causes the confusion.
Champagne – Special Glassware for a Special Drink
There is much more to learn and know about this special drink with the interesting name attached to it. It is important to know how to drink this beverage as well. You might say that one should “handle with care” in order to best enjoy this drink. There are a couple of different glassware items that can be used to maximize the taste and temperature of Champagne/sparkling wine. The first is called the champagne flute. This lovely glassware is comprised of a stem glass with a tall, narrow bowl attached to it. It can resemble a wine glass or a trumpet. The purpose of the stem is to allow the drinker to hold onto their glass without clenching the part of the glass where the champagne is, thus keeping the champagne at the proper temperature. The bowl design also serves its own purpose, which is to help retain carbonation. The flute is the most popular of champagne glasses. Another option for drinking champagne is known as the champagne coupe. It is a shallow, broad-bowled glass with a stem that is more often used for weddings. It was a beautiful and effective choice for champagne drinkers in the thirties when the champagne was sweeter, but now that champagne tends to be more of the dry variety, the broad surface of the coupe can cause sparkling wine to lose its carbonation more quickly, leaving the flute a much better option for champagne lovers everywhere.