To keep your bubbly bubbly, serve it cold and pour it like a beer into a tilted glass.
The beer-like way of serving champagne was found to impact its concentration of dissolved CO2 significantly less. Moreover, the higher the champagne temperature is, the higher its loss of dissolved CO2 during the pouring process, which finally constitutes the first analytical proof that low temperatures prolong the drink’s chill and helps it to retain its effervescence during the pouring process.
If you are filming a Girls Gone Wild video or are in the late stages of a wedding reception, pouring champagne directly into a person’s mouth is also an effective bubble-preservation technique. (via @matthiasrascher)
The world’s oldest drinkable champagne has been discovered…it dates back to the time of Louis XVI and may have even been in his actual possession.
The corks kept their seal and the cold and dark of the deep Baltic preserved the champagne. Inside the bottle they found champagne, and not just champagne but drinkable champagne, complete with fizz. Ekstroem contacted champagne vintners Moet & Chandon, and they identified it with 98% certainty from the anchor marking on the cork as 18th century Veuve Clicquot.
According to records, Veuve Clicquot was first produced in 1772, but the first bottles were laid down for 10 years. “So it can’t be before 1782, and it can’t be after 1788-89, when the French Revolution disrupted production,” Ekstroem said.
This phrase is attributed to French monk Dom Pierre Pérignon upon his discovery of Champagne:
Venez vite, je goûte les étoiles!
It’s typically translated into English as:
Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!
Although Pérignon made important advances in sparkling wine production, a reproducible process for making sparkling wine (of which Champagne is one variety) was actually first described by an Englishman, Christopher Merret, some thirty years before. In a paper presented to the Royal Society, Merret noted that the addition of sugar to wine would result in a second fermentation, which made the wine sparkle.
Merret came to sparkling wine through his interest in glass. The process of secondary fermentation had been known since before medieval times but was not reproducible because the glass bottles would explode under the pressure. Using stronger English glass and sturdy corks, Merret was able to dependably reproduce the sparkling effect and publish the technique for anyone to do the same. A bit less glamorous than “drinking the stars” perhaps, but a deft illustration of the scientific method nonetheless.
BTW, Moët and Chandon, producers of the Dom Pérignon brand of Champagne, still perpetuate the myth that Dom Pérignon invented the method for making sparkling wine. From the DP web site:
Make “the best wine in the world.” It took a visionary spirit and exceptional daring to set such an exalted ambition at the end of the 17th century. But vision and daring were second nature to Pierre Pérignon. Before him, there was only what was known as the wines of Reims, of La Montagne and of La Rivière, according to their origins in the Champagne region. With amazing intuition, Dom Pérignon was the first to see the fabulous promise of luxury. He took very ordinary wines and gave them body, spirit and grace. Through his efforts Champagne wine entered a new world.
Whatever helps you sell the Champers, I guess.
Finalists for the 2007 version of the annual competition held by Design Within Reach to design the best chair out of a champagne cork. Check out the finalists from 2004 and the winner from 2006. (DWR’s site has a bit of a permalink problem, so I can’t find contest results from previous years.)
Slate’s wine columnist considers which champagne Jay-Z should drink now that he’s given up the Cristal. Taste and prestige are not the only considerations: “Take, for instance, this line from the Jay-Z hit ‘Can’t Knock the Hustle’: ‘My motto, stack rocks like Colorado/ auto off the champagne, Cristal’s by the bottle. ‘Salon’ can be substituted for ‘Cristal’ at no cost to the flow.”
Jay-Z is banning Cristal champagne in his clubs after some “racist” comments by the champagne house’s managing director in The Economist. I think Jay-Z is confusing race with culture here; I can’t imagine two cultures that are more different from each other than American hip hop and French champagne production. Despite his hesitancy about discussing a culture unfamiliar to him, I thought the director essentially said that they aren’t worried about the bling lifestyle association because it’s ultimately good for business. (via bb)