Bubbly

Bubbly

December 1st, 2011 in Local Regional News

If you're looking for the perfect bottle of wine to take to the neighbor's house this holiday season, look no further than a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine. Chances are, if it has bubbles, they'll like it!

Sparkling wines and champagnes are categorized as Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Sec and Demi-Sec depending on their sugar levels. These classifications can be somewhat confusing, but keep in mind, that in wine terms "dry" is the opposite of "sweet."

Extra Brut: The driest style of sparkling wine

Brut - Dry: Most popular style and ?very food-friendly

Extra dry: Middle of the road dry, ?not as dry as Brut.

Sec/Demi-Sec: Sweet (Demi-Sec even more so)

Did you know?

Sparkling wine can come from almost any wine-producing area in the world: Cava is from Spain; Prosecco and Asti originate in Italy; sekt in Germany - and, the most famous, Champagne. To legally be called Champagne, a sparkling wine must be made in the traditional champagne method (Methode Champenoise) from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Pinot Meunier grapes from the Champagne district of France.

How to Open a Bottle of Champagne

To open a bottle of bubbly without the infamous "pop," (which can waste a lot of good wine), you will need to have it properly chilled to about 45 degrees (either by refrigerating for three hours before opening or simply by placing in a full bucket of ice and water for 20 minutes). There are about 80 pounds-per-square-inch of pressure behind the cork, so carefully remove the foil covering and wire hood. Next ease the cork out, by securing the cork and turning the bottle (held at a 45 degree angle). Once the cork sighs open you are ready to pour and enjoy.

Bubbles for Every Occasion:

You had a good day at the office...

Gruet ?NV Brut - $12-$15

From New Mexico of all places, this dry sparkling wine is crisp and full of green apple fruit and offers up a lot of bang for the buck.

Your wife just got promoted....

Guy Lamandier Cramant Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc - $45-$55

This 100% chardonnay champagne drinks on a par with many wines twice or three times its price and offers a wonderfully floral, toasty, creaminess that is impossible to resist.

It's your daughter's wedding day....

Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon - $120-$180

While the increasing price of high-end champagnes can be frustrating, Dom Perignon is one that is well worth the money, and in great vintages, is absolutely stunning.