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IntoWine's Celebrating Champagnehttp://www.intowine.com/champagne.html
Review by Debbie Mazo
One drink destined to take center stage at most celebrations this New Year's Eve is Champagne. Long associated with special occasions like the launching of ships and marriages, the wine with golden bubbles has a rich history dating back several centuries. Just in time for the New Year, visit IntroWine's Celebrating Champagne site for everything there is to know about this fine bubbly.
Long before it was a sparkling wine, Champagne was a region located in northern France. At the crossroads of Northern Europe, this area was the scene for many dramatic events including the use of bubbles, generated by the local climate, in the winemaking process. Unearth some of the history of Champagne at the site, including the origins of some of the leading Champagne houses like Claude Moet in the mid-1700's.
Part of the enjoyment of drinking Champagne is understanding the intricacies in producing the different types. Three grape varieties are used in Champagne-Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Pinot Meunier dominates the vineyards, followed by Pinot Noir and then Chardonnay. If you've ever wondered how Champagne is labeled (Brut, Extra Dry, Sec/Demi-Sec, and Doux), you can discover how the sugar content added after second fermentation determines the wine's style and relative sweetness. For this New Year's Eve, try a Brut style of Champagne, which is the most popular. With less than 1.5% residual sugar, the best blends are always reserved for the Brut type.
Serving Champagne correctly requires a little practice. To serve Champagne with style, remove the cork quietly, cool the wine to right temperature, and keep it in the glass and off your guests. Browse the site, and you'll find even more serving tips like the best glass to use in order to enhance the flow of bubbles.
Looking for the perfect way to toast in the New Year? Then, check out the site's guide to toasting, complete with a history of toasting and toast etiquette and protocol. Whatever the New Year brings, enjoy special moments with a glass of Champagne and heed the words of John Maynard Keynes, a famous English economist: "My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."
Debbie Mazo is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. She's been writing the NetFood Digest column for FoodWine since 1997. You can contact her at djmbc@[email-address-removed].
Copyright © 2001, Debbie Mazo. All rights reserved.
This page created January 2001