About     FAQ     Contact      Advertise With Us      Press   

Beyond Bubbles: The Essence of Champagne

Champagne tasting at the cooperative Beaumont des Crayerers in Maroueil

Champagne tasting at the cooperative Beaumont des Crayerers in Maroueil

Steady columns of minuscule bubbles rise to the surface forming the mousse. All senses including observation are heightened. The bubbles foreshadow what is to come: an explosion of effervescence in the mouth, aromas and tastes that bring smiles to faces, sensual sensations that extend beyond self to the immediate surroundings and a cleansed palate that savors the arrival of food. This is champagne.

Personified, the glass of champagne softly pleads, “Take note of me. I am more than aromas, tastes and sensations. I am history, earth, sun, rain, wind, men, women, struggles, war and peace. I have a story to tell.” That story indeed is filled with all that makes us human. Continuing, “My lineage is questionable; however, it was in Champagne that people really took notice. I was the preferred drink of the aristocracy and much admired at royal court.” Leading into the twentieth century the sparkling beverage was also thought highly of by the masses.

Some producers began to market their champagne in creative ways. The first commercial for the bubbly was filmed by the first filmmakers Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière and Louis Jean Lumière in the late nineteenth century. Champagne was brought to the ordinary people at world fairs. Some lucky drinkers had the opportunity to taste champagne in a floating bar, in a basket attacked to a tethered hot air balloon. As they ascended 300 meters (984 feet) above the Expo, they were rewarded with spectacular views of Paris. That was until a wind broke the tether and whisked one group off to the Champagne area and on to Belgium. They did have champagne in the hot air balloon’s basket though. Champagne now is a wine that is adventurous.

The town of Verzenay photo taken from the lighthouse at the Phare de Verzenay.

The town of Verzenay photo taken from the lighthouse at the Phare de Verzenay.

Higher acids of grapes in the vineyard translates into lower sugars. In the winery lower sugar translates into lower alcohol. For some wine enthusiasts this is the perfect formula for wine. Lower alcohol means lower calories and thus a reason to consume more champagne. At present, sparkling wines are made world-wide. The Champagne region of France is the preeminent location for the best that Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir can offer for this style of wine. The chalky soils, climate, wind, sunshine and water are ideally suited for sparkling wines that have multiple layers of aromas and flavors.

Wine lovers become entranced by the steady release of bubbles. It is difficult to ignore action taking place in your glass. That action continues in the mouth and perhaps more than any other wine style, it reaches the soul.

Champagne does have challenges today. In some parts of the world including the United States, champagne is considered by most as a celebratory beverage. Although there may be no other type of alcoholic beverage that is more appropriate for celebration than champagne, the sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France is equally adept as an everyday wine. Often a champagne is served as an aperitif. Again champagne is one of the best choices for a before a meal drink and it will help stimulate the appetite. Champagne is more though. It is one of the best wines for pairing with food. It matches well with many different foods. The marriage of champagne and food attest to its endurance as an everyday wine.

The essence of champagne is far more than what is observed through sight, smell and taste. It defines culture, history, and weather. Perhaps the fundamental quality of champagne is simple to have fun.


Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

info@winetrailtraveler.com            Sitemap                      Privacy Policy

Copyright: Terry and Kathy Sullivan 2006-2013