The following article is a guest post that the author wanted to share with our readers. Since the strongest thing I happen to drink is coffee, an expert on the matter is greatly appreciated!
Since the Romans ruled Europe in the fifth century, wine has been made in the Champagne region of France and enjoyed around the world. Originally used widely in religious ceremonies, wine from Champagne is now synonymous with celebrations, parties and grand occasions, with everyone from celebrities and rock stars to newly-weds and brand new parents choosing it as their tipple of choice.
If you are planning a dinner party to mark the occasion of a birthday, a new arrival in the family, a new job or a new house, no drink will set the mood of celebration quite like Champagne.
The early champagne makers didn’t find quite as much reason to celebrate their produce, envious as they were of the lofty reputation of wines made in Burgundy. The climate in northern France presented some unique challenges to early grape growers in the region, with the fruit struggling to ripen fully, producing high acidity and low sugar levels require for a great red wine.
Once the Champagne growers came to terms with their lighter-bodied, thinner wines, the evolution of the bubbly, sparkling Champagne we know today accelerated. Records show that in 1531, the first sparkling wine was invented by Benedictine Monks in the Abbey of Saint Hilaire near Carcassonne. The English scientist Christopher Merret was credited with creating the first Champagne when he documented the addition of a second fermentation.
Another monk named Dom Perignon made himself famous when, amongst his numerous contributions to advancements in Champagne making, he put a wire collar around the cork in sparkling wine from the Champagne region. To this day, bottles of ‘Dom Perignon’ Champagne are enjoyed by millions around the world.
The explosive nature of pressurised Champagne bottles is a factor in the drink’s popular association with celebrations. The twisting off of the wire cage, followed by the squinting of eyes as the cork is coaxed free from the bottle and the ensuing explosion of foamy bubbles, is a ritual revelled in by sportsmen on podiums, businessmen in boardrooms and newly-wedded couples. The very presence of champagne at your dinner party will add a sense of occasion and an atmosphere of celebration that is hard to achieve without the famous drink.
Champagne is not just symbolic or ornamental, of course. The drink is adored also for its unique flavour and Champagne is an ideal accompaniment to certain foods.
In Britain we tend to think of wine as an aperitif but if we take a look over the Channel in France, Champagne graces dinner tables regularly to splendid effect.
White fish and seafood in buttery white sauces, or crisp lemony dressings, are accompanied ably by a glass of bubbly. Champagne can also sit very nicely alongside salads and other light, summery dishes.
So as long as you’re not serving roast lamb, chilli con carne or an equally heavy dish, perhaps you could consider serving the Champagne at the table at your dinner party.