Friday, November 19, 2010

Debate a Bubble - Top Tips For Your Perfect Champagne Party 1

Debate a Bubble - Top Tips For Your Perfect Champagne Party 1

Link to Debate a Bubble - Champagne News and Reviews

Top Tips For Your Perfect Champagne Party 1

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 12:47 PM PST

Bubbly Tip No 1 – Putting on the Style

 Big is Better and here's why 

  • A regular bottle of champagne only gives you 6 or 7 glasses  
  • Try magnums instead. They look great and add to the atmosphere
  • Champagne tastes better from a magnum  

Here's why...

 One regular bottle of champagne won't be enough if you have more than 6 guests – just to top everyone's glass up you'll need at least two bottles – so go for magnums instead.

A magnum will give you at least 12, sometimes 14 glasses, depending on the champagne glasses you're using. That means less time spent opening the bottles, and more time sampling the bubbly with your friends!

Magnums look enticing and elegant as you pour them, what's more many people have never had champagne from a magnum so that adds to their enjoyment as well.

They're not hard to handle either and you'll only need to chill them for about 20 minutes with half ice, half water, just like a normal bottle,  and then you're ready to go. Impress your friends with these bigger and better bottles

Why 'better'? Let me explain...

More bottles ageing at Krug 19th Feb 2010

As a  magnum matures in the cellars in France you have twice as much bubbly as in a normal bottle, but only a little bit more air in the magnum, so the whole ageing process is slower than for a regular bottle.

That means that the champagne spends longer in the producer's cellar and, as you'll know, ( if you've already got your copy of The Insider's Guide to Champagne) longer ageing produces flavours that are richer, rounder and more complex.

Give magnums a try and I'm sure you'll notice the difference!

Look out for more great tips soon about how you can get the maximum enjoyment out of your champagne this Christmas






Half Bottles Of Champagne

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 11:51 PM PST

Recently an American couple who were staying at our B & B in champagne shared with me a bottle of rather unusual champagne.

Bernardin half bottle 2002 Rosé It looked pretty ordinary at first sight as you can see from the picture but it turned out to be anything but ordinary - well worth a few lines in a blog post because there's always something new to learn about champagne

Take a look and see what you think

You can't make out much from this picture I admit.

In fact it's a half bottle, not a full bottle and here's a close-up picture so you can get a better view

Bernardin half bottle 2002 Rosé 

It's not the champagne maker that makes this bottle interesting: Bernardin in the village of Trépail - not a champagne that I had heard of even though Trépail is only about 5 kilometres from where I live 

If you look carefully though, you can see that this is

  • a vintage champagne from 2002
  • a rosé champagne
  • a half bottle

So why is this unusual?

Well, the thing about half bottles is that they don't last as long as normal-sized bottles. In fact the smaller the bottles the shorter the time you should keep them and vice versa. Half bottles are definitely not meant for laying down. It's a great idea to have a few in stock but they're meant for opening whenever you fancy a glass or two of champagne, not to hang on to.

It's odd then to find a vintage champagne in a half bottle, in fact I can't think I've ever come across a half bottle of vintage champagne before, much less a half bottle of vintage rosé. After all, vintage champagne is aged longer in the cellar and is supposed to have much longer ageing potential than non-vintage, so it just doesn't lend itself to half bottles.

So I was curious to see what this champagne tasted like - it had been 7 years since it was first put into the bottle - and lo and behold it was certainly past its best.

The colour was quite dark and the taste was sort of smokey with more than a touch of licquorice to it. Any fresh red fruit flavours that may have been there a few years ago had become very concentrated in a heavy and lifeless sort of a way. It wasn't exactly unpleasant but not a great bottle at all.

The moral of the story is not to hold on to half bottles too long and if you're interested in storing champagne for a year or more, then the bigger the bottle the better.

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