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A Second Look- Beyond Bubbles: The Essence of Champagne


tattinger3Whether in a champagne flute, a coupe, a tulip or white wine stemware, that delightful effervescent champagne offers much more than continuous strands of bubbles rising to the top and tickling your nose.

Champagne is so much more than a drink. As one looks into that effervescent glass of gold, one sees the history of France, the limestone caves, viticulture and winemaking. This delightfully, fizzy drink is also a very social drink. What is it that makes champagne so unique?

Champagne as a Placelighthouse1

The home of champagne is the Champagne region of France. While some wine drinkers refer to any sparkling wine as a champagne, only wines produced in the Champagne region and made with the grapes from the region are allowed to be labeled as champagne.

Champagne as History

Champagne is history in a glass. Where can one travel and enjoy an extended history while imbibing in a glass of bubbles? Champagne-Ardenne is a unique region of France with miles of subterranean, limestone caves. Visitors to some of the champagne houses have the opportunity to taste wine in those age-old caves. Do the aged caves provide an adequate spot for tasting wine? Some people may question whether champagne tastings should take place in caves so old that the accumulated smells of the caves interfere with the aroma and taste of the champagnes. Other visitors will take great delight with the “sense of place” while tasting champagnes in caves.

020615aChampagne as a Social Drink

While Champagne is often enjoyed at wedding receptions as a celebratory drink, it is also a wonderful way to celebrate the New Year with others. Champagne is a drink to be shared with others at celebrations or a quiet dinner with friends and family.

Champagne with Food

Champagne has the potential of being palate cleansing. However, it is much more than that. Champagne pairs well with many foods. It is appropriate for any meal.


Bubbles are a sign of happiness, frivolity, leisure and fun. Is it any wonder that bubbles are used in celebrating a bride and groom as they leave their wedding ceremony? What frequently follows is a toasting with champagne. A number of years ago, while at a restaurant in Detroit, a small group came in celebrating a wedding. Everyone stopped for a moment to applaud as the bride, all dressed in white, walked into the crowded room. Within minutes a member of our table asked the restaurant sommelier to send a bottle of champagne to the bridal table. It was a moment I will always remember. The bride and groom were stunned but obviously very pleased with the unexpected gift of champagne from a stranger. Our table benefited from someone giving a gift and it was obvious the bride and groom were happy.

Serving Champagne

Recently a debate has taken place about champagne stemware.  The oldest style but still available is a coupe. This glass is basically flat with a dip in it. Have you had champagne in a coupe? While in Barcelona, I went to a small food and wine bar that served a cava in a coupe. The glass was filled to the rim, making it difficult to drink without spilling. The coupe also makes it more difficult to see the fascinating bubbles.

The flute stemware is tall and thin offering an elegant style. The glass allows the user the opportunity to enjoy watching the numerous bubbles rise to the top. Some say that there is a noticeable difference between the aromas from the coupe and the flute. The tulip shed bowl is becoming more popular today as well as a white wine glass. Both allow for the streams of bubbles and help enhance the aromas.

Champagne is magical and should be enjoyed with friends and food anytime. Give me a well-made champagne anytime and I will enjoy it with friends and food.



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