It is a tradition in France, no New Year Eve without Champagne ! Champagne served with fois gras, champagne with smoke salmon on toast, champagne with oyster, champagne with snails,...champagne is the magic beverage "pour faire LA fete..."
Not only I grew up few meters from the fume of the cellars of Moet and Chandon(www.moet.com) in Epernay, capitale of Champagne region, but as anyone there I received my spoon of champagne the day of my baptism. Of course I love Champagne.
But let me give you some rules for serving Champagne:
- Drink it pretty quickly. Do not keep it in your cellar as you would do with a wine bottle
- Chilling your Champagne in the freezer will kill the aromas and flavours. Lie the bottle in the fridge three to four hours before serving and the last 15-20 minutes, place the bottle in a Champagne bucket with ice and water. Nice "pop" of the cork guaranteed!
- Pick thin and long flutes. Champagne needs to be served with elegance
- Serve it as an aperitif with salty nibbles, or during dinner. Avoid the champagne with dessert.
How to tell the difference between a brut Champagne, a Rosé, a Vintage, a Blanc de Blanc Champagne or a Prestige Cuvée:
Behind all these different names hides a different wine with different characteristics and tastes. Each wine depends on choices made during the three stages of production.
It is at this stage of the production process that the taste and character of Champagne wines are determined. In Champagne the blending process takes place on three levels: the blending of still wines from different growing areas, of the three grape varieties (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier) and of different years.
At the end of the aging period, the winemaker removes the yeast deposit from the bottle and adds a solution of wine and sugar. The addition of sugar, according to the different wines, allows the Champenois to create a scale of ‘sweetness’ from extra-dry to sweet.
Blanc de Blancs : white Champagne made exclusively from white Chardonnay grapes
Blanc de Noirs: white Champagne wine, made exclusively from black Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier Vintage: A blend of wines from the same year - only in years when the unique personality of the grapes deserves special recognition
Rosé: Champagne with a rosy colour created by blending or maceration
Prestige Cuvées: The wine produced by blending
Where to go in New York ?
. You can order online at http://www.sherry-lehmann.com. Sherry-lehmann offers package of Champagne with Caviar with a good selection of Champagnes
. On New Year Eve, Country will offer an 4 Hour open bar from 10pm to 2am featuring 5 different Champagnes and Sparkling Wines as well as a premium selection of liquors and spirits. Festive Canapes, Hors D'Oeuvres and Sweets will be butlered from 10pm to Midnight. A DJ will be spinning until 2am.
Country, restaurant and Champagne Bar
90 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016
. Celebrate in a Champagne Lounge
40 E. 20th St., New York, NY 10003
nr. Park Ave. South
What makes the Champagne region so special ?
An exceptional terroir
The harsh northern climate is compensated for by the chalky sub soil that provides natural irrigation and the position of the vines high on the slopes so they catch the sun.
The main regions of Champagne
The three main elements - climate, soil and sub-soil vary within the Champagne Appellation. However four main regions can be distinguished:
The Marne Valley
where the slopes flank the river on both sides, following its curves as it meanders from Aÿ to beyond Château-Thierry in the Aisne.
The Côte des Blancs
where the vineyards follow the slopes that run from Epernay in the north down to the slopes around the town of Sézanne.
The Côte des Bars and Montgueux
where the low hills between the river Seine and the river Aube at the southern tip of the region create beautiful rolling countryside.
"Best of the Bubby" in the New York Magazine