Break Up Wines: Champagne Edition

I won’t argue with a woman who cites diamonds as her best friend. But personally, I’d like my diamonds to come with a magnum of Krug. That way, you’ve got something in the cellar to drink when you’re mad at the diamond-giver, and you can look damn good doing it. I’ve been reflecting on frivolity and bubbly, and all things lovely and insanely feminine since my recent breakup and am fully on a chamgpagne kick.

It started with reading The Widow Clicquot, and meditating on how that awesome widow took over the champagne empire–essentially inventing champagne as we know it today–all sans husband. She might not have been the most fashionable lady of the day (Without foundation how could she be?), but her obvious love for bubbly is inspiring my Krug and diamonds singledom.

Now, back to champagne–drink of luxury, class, and breakups.

To begin with, Champagne has a spectacular history crafted through bloody revolutions, fierce competition, and a whole lot of drunk soldiers.  Said fierce competition led to the exclusivity of Champagne labeling, which limits the sparkling zone to a small region about 90 miles from Paris. Reims, the center of it all, is a gorgeous, quaint city that taught me diamonds and champagne were a girls’ best friend long before I could legally experiment stateside.

A few different grapes–chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier–are mixed and matched into a perfectly sexy ménage-a-trois that rarely carries a year on the label. Let’s be serious, perfect pairs are usually a blend of different ages and histories and it’s the combination that makes things pop.

Champagne’s pop comes from the secondary fermentation it goes through in the bottle, where bubbles appear as a result of some seriously complicated chemistry. The trickiness of this process (which often involves liquid nitrogen, meticulous turning of the bottles everyday, and working in ice-age conditions) is what amps the price of champagne higher than other sparkling wines like Spanish cava or Italian prosecco.

I snatched up a bottle of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve Particulière last week, which was recommended as a best value champagne on several lists, and comes in at around $36. It was absolutely refreshing and had a super smooth finish. Fruity, with a lovely floral nose, this is a pick-me-up wine (perfect for the solo and girls’-night sipping I was doing).

Like many sparklers, this wine’s flavor lent itself to a plethora of foods–I first paired it solo, then with white cheddar mac and cheese, and the lean-ness of the finish worked well with this rich dish.  Some serious high-low pairings could happen here, this champ could go from lobster rolls to oysters; or from french fries to a brie with fig preserves.

Unfortunately for those of us without sugar daddies or trust funds or investment banker boyfriends with a budget a champagne habit can get pricey.  Good champagne starts around $30 a bottle, and prices skyrocket from there.

It’s a perfect splurge–a combination of serious science, class, luxury, and did I mention it was pioneered by women? It picked me up, and I’m not putting it down. Cheers.

Champagne Uncorked:

Laura Loves: Eligible bachelors with jobs.

Cristallino Cava and Terra Gaie Prosecco as budget friendly alternatives to oft pricey champagne.

Fun Facts: “Boule” (aka shallow, wide-mouthed) style champagne glasses were allegedly modeled from Marie Antoinette’s breasts.

Contrary to popular belief, Dom Perignon didn’t invent the first bubbly. He was actually trying to avoid bubbles in his bottles, and the invention of bubbly really goes to the Brits.

Champagne in 140 characters: Frivolous, delicious, style in a great glass that works with almost anything–Champagne is my bitch.

  • August 24, 2012
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