By Al Edenloff
Ten, nine, eight… Ready to ring in the New Year?
One way to add a touch of fun and style to your New Year’s Eve celebration is to uncork some bubbly. Whether it’s a high-end $200 bottle of Dom Perignon or a $10 sparkling Cava, here’s a countdown of champagne tips to ensure a successful celebration:
- Impress others with some bubbly knowledge. Did you know that “Champagne” with a capital “C” can only be made in the Champagne region of France? Or that it is made from a blend of red and white grapes – pinor noir, meunier and chardonnay?
- How sweet do you like it? The sugar content can be found on most labels. It ranges from 0 to 6 grams for “Extra Brut” up to more than 50 grams for “Doux.”
- Stow champagne in the fridge for 3 or 4 hours. You want it to be between 43 and 48 degrees. Forget about the freezer. Bad things can happen in there.
- If you’re pressed for time, fill a bucket half with water and half with ice and let the bubbly chill 20 to 30 minutes.
- Have a toast ready. It can be funny, sad, poignant, or schmaltzy, but it should at least be memorable.
- Several minutes before the countdown, wrap a towel around the bottle, remove the foil wrap and wire ring. Tilt the bottle at a 45-degree angle, pointing the cork end away from you (and everyone else). Slowly twist the bottle to help push the cork out.
- Pour the bubbly into tulip-shaped glasses about halfway. Leave room to swirl the champagne and release flavor and aroma.
- Study your drink. It should be bright and shiny, not dull. The older the champagne, the more golden in color it becomes. Take a whiff or two, slowly inhaling.
- Give your toast. Stand up, clearly say your words, maintain eye contact, keep it short and clink glasses.
- Sip. Don’t just think about how it tastes but also the texture, the weight, the carbonation. Notice how it finishes. The longer the finish, the better quality.
Cheers to 2013!