About Champagne and 15 Champagne Cocktails

What do you know about Champagne, other than its bubbles and high quality?  Do you know where the Champagne region is located in France? How the 360 Champagne Houses and 16,100 growers get the bubbles in the bottle?  Which grapes are permitted to make Champagne? Or that 297.6 million bottles of Champagne were shipped around the world in 2019?  Let me tell you a bit more about Champagne, and then give you a few suggestions for Champagne cocktails.  Why not?  Cocktails are popular as is Champagne, so a Champagne cocktail should be popular*2!

About Champagne

Moet & Chandon champagne on ice
Moet & Chandon champagne on ice

Champagne is a sparkling wine that is named after the region of Champagne in northeastern France. The history of champagne dates back to the 17th century, when wine producers in the region began experimenting with ways to make their still wines bubbly. The production of sparkling wine was a challenging process, and it wasn’t until the 18th century that the methods for producing consistent, high-quality sparkling wine were developed. The wine became popular among the French royalty and aristocracy, and it wasn’t long before champagne became associated with celebration and luxury.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, champagne production expanded, and the wine became popular all over the world. The production of champagne is highly regulated by French law, and today there are strict standards that must be met in order to label a wine as champagne. To be considered champagne, the wine must be made using specific grape varieties (typically one or more of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier), produced using the traditional method, and aged for a minimum of 15 months before release.

According to Wikipedia, “In France, the first sparkling champagne was created accidentally; the pressure in the bottle led it to be called “the devil’s wine” (le vin du diable), as bottles exploded or corks popped. At the time, bubbles were considered a fault. In 1844, Adolphe Jaquesson invented the muselet to prevent the corks from blowing out. Initial versions were difficult to apply and inconvenient to remove.[10][11] Even when it was deliberately produced as a sparkling wine, champagne was for a very long time made by the méthode rurale, where the wine was bottled before the initial fermentation had finished. Champagne did not use the méthode champenoise until the 19th century, about 200 years after Merret documented the process. The 19th century saw an dramatic growth in champagne production, going from a regional production of 300,000 bottles a year in 1800 to 20 million bottles in 1850.[12] In 2007, champagne sales hit an all-time record of 338.7 million bottles.[13]

Today, champagne is one of the most famous and prestigious wines in the world, and it remains associated with celebration and luxury. The production of champagne is dominated by a few large houses, but there are also smaller, family-owned producers who create high-quality, artisanal champagnes. The 10 most popular (and largest in my opinion) Champagne brands according to www.wineinvestment.com are:

  • Dom Perignon
  • Louis Roederer
  • Taittinger
  • Krug
  • Moet & Chandon
  • Bollinger
  • Pol Roger
  • Perrier-Jouet
  • Veuve Clicquot

I really enjoy Taittinger and Perrier-Jouet.  Do you have a favourite?

Champagne Cocktails

In addition to being enjoyed on its own, champagne is also used in a variety of cocktails. It is a popular ingredient in cocktails such as the Champagne Cocktail, the Bellini, and the Kir Royale, where it adds a light, effervescent quality to the drink. The acidity and crisp flavors of champagne also make it a perfect complement to other ingredients such as fruit juices, liqueurs, and bitters. Whether enjoyed straight or in a mixed drink, champagne is a versatile and delicious wine that has a rich history and a special place in the world of cocktails. 

Here are 15 Champagne cocktails from food52.com via salon.  Try them out and let me know which is your favourite.  

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.