I love bubbles, along with a Classic Champagne Cocktail. A few years ago we use to have Champagne Friday, every Friday, and it was blissful. There was no particular reason for these mini celebrations, other then it being Friday and celebrating life and love. The only rules were that the bubbles could not cost more than $30, and it could not be something that we had enjoyed before. Bonus, if we found a bottle that we truly loved for less then $20. Occasionally, it would happen, and then we’d usually stash a few bottles away for a rainy day. We stopped, and I am not sure why. I think we should start it up again, don’t you?
Do you know the difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine? Here is our version of Champagne 101. Champagne comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France, and it is the only bubbly wine that can be referred to as Champagne. Sparkling wine is from other regions in the world and goes by many different names depending on the country. Some popular sparkling wines and their countries are:
- Cava – Spain
- Espumante – Portugal
- Asti – Italy
- Moscato – Italy
- Sekt – Germany and Austria
- Sparkling Wine – United States
- Mousseux or Cremant – other regions in France
The tiny bubbles that make drinking a classic champagne cocktail so much fun are formed during the second fermentation when the winemaker adds a small amount of sugar and yeast. The mixture converts to carbon dioxide, which is the bubbles, and alcohol. These small bubbles become trapped in a small space sending the pressure of the wine to a soaring 80 psi.
Champagne and sparkling wines are classified as Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Sec, and Demi-Sec, and is determined by the sugar content.
- Extra Brut is very dry.
- Brut is dry and the most popular.
- Extra Dry falls between the middle of the two and is not quite as dry as Brut.
- Sec is slightly dry and a little sweet.
- Demi-Sec is fairly sweet and goes well with dessert.
Then we have a vintage or non-vintage option when purchasing Champagne or Sparkling wine. The difference between the two simply means they either come from a single year or are a blend of several different years. Vintage will generally be sold at a higher price while non-vintage makes up most of the market.
When we want a little something more memorable, such as for Valentine’s Day or “Love” Month, we make Champagne cocktails. This classic drink is uncomplicated to make and is always a crowd-pleaser; instantly, you will see a smile creep up on your loved one’s face. It is refined, but not stuffy, rather it is immensely fun to drink. The classic Champagne cocktail is made with bitters, a sugar cube and of course, Champagne. The bitters add depth while the sugar cube adds a little sweetness and a million more bubbles. I like to think of it as a present!
Classic Champagne Cocktail
** makes one cocktail
1 sugar cube
Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Place a sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne glass.
Soak with a few drops of bitters.
Slowly fill the glass with champagne.
Add the lemon twist.