Knee deep in the silly season and at serious risk of ODing on festivity, now seems like a fitting time to swot up on a few facts about our beloved Champers. Director of the Champagne Bureau Australia, Elisabeth Drysdale gives us the lowdown on all we need to know in our quest to become bona fide champagne buffs.
#1 The Chill Factor
Champagne on ice anyone? Be careful not to let it sit for too long. Serve champagne below 8-10°C and you’re at risk of numbing your taste buds—not what you want when you’re quaffing the good stuff! And whatever you do, don’t look for a quick fix by chilling the bottle in the freezer, or serving it in pre-chilled glasses. The cold temperatures will quickly put paid to that precious sparkle.
#2 Raise Your Glass
Old-fashioned coupe glasses may make you feel like Daisy Buchanan, but they’re not doing your fizz any favours. Gaining popularity in the 1920s, the saucer shaped champagne glass has fallen out of popularity in recent years, replaced instead with the tulip flute. With its taller, more slender form, the tulip allows the bubbles and aromas to fully develop, meaning you can enjoy the complex flavours of champagne at their very best.
#3 Pop, Fizz, Clink!
Despite what you may have heard, placing a teaspoon in the neck of the champagne bottle will not preserve the effervescence... It’s a myth! The best way to ensure the bubbles keep popping is by keeping the bottle cold. Or, better yet, polishing it off in the one sitting…
#4 Can’t Touch This
On 4 July 2015, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee took the decision to include the ‘Champagne hillsides, houses and cellars’ on its World Heritage list, deeming the area producing and selling champagne significant enough to merit the award. Champagne now receives special protection, meaning no one gets to mess with the region and their production of everyone’s favourite tipple. We’ll drink to that!
#5 A Royal Touch
Where better to toast the inauguration of a new monarch than the home of France’s other reigning jewel, Champagne? Reims, the effective capital of the province of Champagne, has been the site of the crowning of all of the French kings since waaaaay back in 898. Well if it’s good enough for royalty…
#6 Bubbles Keep the World Afloat
Champagne exports its wine to more than 190 countries all over the world, and represents a whopping 13% by volume of global consumption of sparkling wines. With the industry directly employing over 30,000 people, it’s in all our best interests to keep the champers flowing.
#7 Cheers to Us!
Us Aussies are partial to a good drink or three, and the facts speak for themselves. Australia continued to prove itself as an important market for Champagne last year, importing 6.5 million bottles in 2014 alone! Now listed as the 6th largest market in the world in terms of importing, just leave the cork popping to us, guys.
Still thirsty for knowledge (see what we did there?). Head here to find out what the deal is with Japanese sake.
Image credit: Mitch Lui