We love wine. We love other alcohol too, but since wine figures large in Deb Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy, we figured it was only right to have a wine note for each podcast. And so we bring you Episode 5 Wine Note: Champagne.
In each podcast episode, we bring you a note about wine because wine is a main form of sustenance for vampires when they’re not drinking, you know, blood. It also happens that Deborah Harkness, Renaissance woman that she is, is an award-winning wine blogger and wine enthusiast. If you’ve never read Deborah’s wine blog, “Good Wine Under $20,” you should have a look. While she doesn’t write it now, it is a reminder that apparently there’s nothing this woman can’t do.
We have two more reasons we like to include a wine note in each episode. We really like wine; we like it a lot. We also happen to have our own personal sommelier, Bayard. This man knows his wine and he loves sharing his knowledge and making wine accessible to everyone. Bayard is a founding partner at Crafted Brands and we love learning from him.
Today we are talking about Champagne, which was our wine note in Episode 5. The F Word Part Deux. (Which you should obviously take a moment and listen to if you haven’t and are interested in fathers in the All Souls Trilogy.) Anyway, Champagne is not just for women; it’s for men as well. Kings, princes and dukes have been drinking it for generations. So, men, today we toast you.
Champagne can only come from the champagne region of France. Otherwise, different regions have different names for it. Italians call it Prosecco or Spumanti. In Spain, they call it Cava. Here in the United States, we call it sparkling wine. If it says Champagne on the bottle, it will be from the Champagne region of France.
Some really fun interesting facts about Champagne: when you open it and the bubbles start happening, that is secondary fermentation. That is the yeast and sugar interacting. If we don’t do it that way, we force carbon dioxide in the bottle. Those are the two ways we can make Champagne. Champagne has always been a great celebratory gift and beverage. Now, opening a bottle of champagne: there is a lot of pressure in there – about two to three times the amount of a pressure in a standard automobile tire. You have about 90 psi. If you shake up the bottle, you’ll have even more pressure and then you’ll be holding a weapon. So, be careful and stand back when that cork comes flying.
Some people say that Champagne gives them a headache. Sometimes if you drink it too fast, it will give you a headache because of the sugar. But also because of those little bubbles, the alcohol will enter your bloodstream faster so be careful.
Did you know that every single day at 11, Winston Churchill was served a very small bottle of Pol Roger, a phenomenal Champagne? If you are a champagne lover, perhaps you’d like to go the way of Winston Churchill; it’s always a good practice. Happy Fathers’ Day to the fathers out there. We toast you with a glass of fine Champagne!
And in case you’re wondering what we think…
Nikki: I love this wine note! I’m always a bit squeamish around Champagne (the buying of, definitely not the drinking of) because I just don’t know what to buy. I typically go with a Prosecco because they haven’t steered me wrong yet. While Bayard’s note didn’t help me decide which bottle to choose, he did help me rationalize drinking this fine beverage on the daily, so thanks to Bayard!
Ashley: Confession – I’m nearly 40 years old and I’m still too petrified to open a bottle of Champagne, or any sparkling wine for that matter. Bayard’s wine note only exacerbated that anxiety with that little ditty about how a corked bottle contains more pressure than a tire on my multi-ton car. Noted. My fear of opening it, however, will never stop me from partaking in bubbles when offered. I’ve always thought there’s reason in every day to celebrate, so thank you Mr. Churchill for confirming that!
Janet: Not a fan of champagne. I don’t like the bubbles. Bring on the tequila. You will likely note that theme in a few of our wine notes. 🙂