Champagne is good for more than holidays and weddings
By now, most everyone knows brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch in the later hours of the morning. But what’s unique about this odd combination is its usual beverage companion: champagne.
For those few who haven’t tried it before, champagne is a sparkling wine (the kind with bubbles in it, to be precise). However, not all sparkling wines are champagne. What differentiates champagne from “the others” is its origin.
Champagne is specifically made from chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes that are suited to the Champagne region of northern France. The climate there is cooler than other wine regions in France, and as the result of past earthquakes, the soil is a porous and chalky texture that aids drainage and adds to the acidity of the grapes. Therefore, any sparkling bubbly wine that is not from the champagne region in France is not champagne. Sorry folks, it’s just a bright, bubbly, alcoholic beverage (not to say it’s inferior and unworthy of drinking, it just can’t claim the name).
Because of the cooler climate and shorter growing season, the bubbles naturally rise. However this was a disaster to Dom Pérignon, a French Monk, and his contemporaries. Sparkling wine was a sign of poor wine making; therefore, Pérignon spent years trying to make an unsparkly, unbubbly, white wine for royalty.
He obviously failed but we’re happy he did because in 2014, Americans consumed 10,454 nine-liter cases of sparkling wine and champagne, according to the Wine Institute.
During the 18th century, champagne was enjoyed by English and French royalty. In the 19th century, the sparkling wine industry was established which meant champagne became available to the common man as well as royalty. Today, you don’t have to be nobility (although some of us like to think we are) to drink a glass of champagne.
And while there’s nothing new about brunch and champagne, the combination is stepping up its game. The classic caviar and champagne is out of style—according to The Huffington Post, champagne has its best taste when paired with fatty and salty foods such as burgers. We’ve all heard of food trucks, now there are champagne trucks to make an astounding culinary combination.
These trucks, better known as pop-up champagne bars, are serving signature French champagne alongside food pairings.
Alas, they are bubbling up in Croatia only, but talk about brunch on the go!
A bit closer to home is the skinny champagne trend. An expert would say champagne in its natural state is sweet, but there is an increasing trend of brut nature to doux champagnes.
Brut nature, the driest of champagnes, has the lowest calories and least amount of sugar packed into a serving. More than 90 percent of all champagne is made as brut champagne. With less than .5 grams of natural sugar and no more than two calories, brut nature and extra brut champagne are extremely popular.
However, some people still enjoy the sweetness in champagne to create a smoother taste compared to its high acidity and natural tartness. Doux is the sweetest champagne, averaging about 50 grams of sugar per glass. As Winefolly notes, “You can think of it like adding a little sugar to coffee to ‘round out’ the flavor.”
Champagne has evolved from the aristocrats of France to modern day consumers. From pop-up champagne trucks to traditional brunch eateries such as Bluewater Grille and Broad Street Grille in Chattanooga, champagne has become a signature drink within the world’s history.