Champagne is known as a drink for celebrations. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone event or a small victory, there’s something special about pouring a glass of bubbly. But don’t hold back on drinking champagne only to toast, pour yourself a glass with dinner, or have a mimosa with breakfast! Substitute champagne for wine when having a wine and cheese party, or pair it with pizza. The possibilities are endless!
Raise your glass as we toast to our love of champagne, and enjoy a few sips as we share with you five things you might not know about this bubbly beverage.
- Don’t store your champagne in the refrigerator. While it’s nice to always have a bottle chilled and ready for spontaneous celebrations, you should store bottles of champagne in the back of your pantry instead of in the refrigerator. When you keep champagne in the refrigerator for an extended amount of time, it could cause the cork to dry out and shrink. This not only lets carbonation escape but it can let other flavors in. Store your champagne on its side in a closet to keep a tight seal and then chill it before drinking.
- A bottle of champagne has approximately 49 million bubbles. The millions of bubbles in your champagne are not only beautiful to look at, they serve an important purpose. Each bubble carries tens of aromatic compounds. As these bubbles rise, they carry flavor and aroma compounds with them, bursting at the surface to contribute to the taste and aroma. When it comes to the size of the bubbles, a good champagne has tiny bubbles. The tinier the bubble, the better the taste.
- Not all “bubbly” is champagne. There is a difference between sparkling wine and champagne. Most people use the two terms interchangeably but that is not correct. Champagne is classified as a type of sparkling wine that is made in the Champagne region of France. Legally, only wines from this region made with the Methode Champenoise qualify as authentic champagne. Other types of sparkling wines include Cava (Spain), Cremant (from other regions of France), Prosecco (Veneto, Italy), Asti (Piedmont, Italy) and Sekt (Germany/Austria).
- Use a raisin to bring back the bubbles. Did your glass of champagne lose some of its fizz? If the glass isn’t completely flat yet, drop a raisin into the glass or bottle a few minutes prior to pouring. The remaining carbon dioxide in the bottle or glass will adhere to the raisin’s ridges and release back into the champagne as bubbles. It’s magic! Well, it’s actually science, but it makes you feel like a magician.
- Drink for your health! A 2013 study at the University of Reading found that compounds in two grapes used to make bubbly can have a positive effect on spatial memory and learning. Worried about memory loss? A few glasses each week could help prevent memory loss that is associated with aging. Champagne also has antioxidants that can help your body reverse damage from free radicals as well as contribute in lowering blood pressure and preventing heart problems.