Pop Clink Fizz

Champs, Bubbly, fizzy, Poppy or Franciacorta as the Italians call it gained its nick names not only for the carbonation of the champagne itself, but for the lively bubbly personality of the wine we all love.  My recent trip to Reims, France or as everyone calls it Champagne is where it all started. Dating back as early as 1668 Dom Perignon was believed to be the inventor of the fermentation process in the bottle which makes him technically the founder of champagne and coined its father. But we can’t dismiss the Queen of it all Madame Cliquot, founder to one of the most famous and household Champagne names, Veuve Cliquot, “Hail the Queen.” So, what makes us want to Pop Clink fizz on special occasions and why? The name Champagne itself is a synonym for celebration and was truly a wine of status back in the day, fit for only kings and queens. The tradition of drinking wine was to mark celebrations, where this Pricey drink was a social status symbol, associated with luxury, wealth, and royalty.

So, let’s get to it, the different bubbles, the vintages, and the drinking experience itself. As with all great discoveries in history, champs was discovered accidentally. One of the byproducts of the fermentation process of the wine caused the release of carbon dioxide gas when the wine was bottled for maturing causing intense pressure. The pressure building in the bottles caused the bottles to explode or the corks to “POP” and cause havoc in the cellars, which led this wine to be termed “the devil’s wine” (le vin du diable) or the beginning of Champagne itself. Vintage-vs-non-vintage that is the question? This fizzy wine is understandably well worth the wait and the price. The minimum to drink and open a VERY young bottle of champs is 14 months, but many date as much as 10 years plus.

The aging process is 2-3 years for non- vintage and 4-10 for Vintage. You ask the difference between Vintage and non? Vintage is the creation of wine from only one grape and non from the blend of several. Grapes and the varietals of such give the wine its flavor profiles, beautiful aromas, and textures. There are 3 main grape varieties that are used to make Champs. Champagne is largely made up of a combination of three types of grapes: Pinot Noir (a red variety) Pinot Meunier (a red variety) and Chardonnay (a white variety). Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are the only red grapes allowed to be used to make Champagne.

With so many famous quotes referencing Champagne and used regularly in reality TV, movies, and daily life, let’s just quote a few of my favorites. From the words of my favorite Fashionista Coco Chanel “I only drink Champagne on two occasions When I am in love and When I am not.” And to quote the famous words of Madame Clicquot “there is only one quality, the finest.”” There are so many fun interesting facts, too many to sight and write about. But the next time you Pop Clink Fizz to toast to that celebratory event, remember to include those that made it possible to “POP” those bubbles.

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