Opening a champagne bottle – spray, fizz, and all – usually signifies a celebration. Sports teams that win championships usually get on a champagne-spraying frenzy and dowse their teammates, and even coaches, with jets of champagne liquid. This act, of course, is not meant to denigrate the worth of this sparkling wine. This way of celebrating a triumph or a success can be traced back to as early as the 16th century when French aristocracy offered this beverage as a tribute to foreign kings.
Champagne, as mentioned earlier, is a type of sparkling wine produced from grapes that are grown in the Champagne region of France. Although this term is used as a generic term for sparkling wine, there are those that limit the term’s use only to those that come from the French region mentioned earlier.
So how do you choose a good champagne? This beverage is produced every year. A vintage Champagne is produced in the best years. In those exceptional years, a champagne house will decide to make it using only the grapes from the harvest during a certain year and will have the bottle dated with that year.
When bottling this celebrated (and celebratory) drink, the sugar content that’s going to be added to the dosage is one of the most primordial decisions a champagne produces must make. The amount of sugar in it can determine whether it’s going to be very dry or very sweet (dry, in wine parlance, means lacking sweetness). Sweet levels can vary from extra brut (0 – 0.6 percent sugar) to doux (more than 5% sugar). The bottle you’ll choose will partially depend how you want your champagne to be in terms of its dryness or sweetness.
You also have to get something that’s within your budget range. Cheap bottles can be anywhere from $7 to $25 each, while exclusive champagnes that are of a special brand can be more than a hundred dollars. If you have the budget for the latter, go for them, especially if the occasion on which you’re going to open the bottle is one that will be attended by discriminating and/or distinguished guests.
Of course, when getting champagnes, size also matters. If you’re expecting a few guests to attend a dinner you’re hosting, getting a 125ml bottle would be enough. For large gatherings, however, you can get 3-liter bottles or bigger, depending on the number of people expected to grace the event you’re hosting.
If you know how to choose the right champagne for any occasion you’re hosting, you’ll be a more confident host.