#Winederland: A guy’s guide to champers
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“My dear girl, there are some things that just aren’t done, such as drinking Dom Perignon ’53 above the temperature of 38 degrees “
- James Bond – Sean Connery.
While sparkling wine has traditionally been considered a ladies’ drink, in recent years there’s been a significant upswing in men across the globe swapping their beers for bubbly.
Even long before it became fashionable, a certain special agent was known to knock back flutes of fizz. Bollinger Champagne has featured in James Bond movies 35 times since Moonraker in 1979, with the suave, trendsetting Bond having no qualms indulging in a bit of bubbles.
Miguel Chan, head sommelier for Tsogo Sun Hotels, will, among others, edu-tain visitors in the art of sparkling wine at the exclusive Café Cru Sparkling Wine Bar at the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show, taking place from Thursday to Saturday at Suncoast Casino this coming week.
Thursday and Friday are between 5pm and 9pm, while the closing show on Saturday opens at 3pm and closes at 9pm .
Here’s what you need to know:
Sparkling wine vs Champagne – what’s the difference?
Champagne is produced from grapes grown specifically in a region called Champagne just outside of Paris in the north of France. Anywhere else in the world this drink is known as sparkling wine and may not be referred to as Champagne.
Where do the bubbles come from?
Sparkling wine has significant levels of carbon dioxide, which creates its trademark fizz. There are approximately 49 million bubbles in a 750ml bottle of
bubbly – that’s three times more gas than beer (yes, hiccups and burping are all part of the fun!)
Opening a bottle of bubbly the gentleman’s way
First, chill your bubbly in an ice bucket for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then carefully unwrap the foil and open the cage around the cork. Finally, point the cork away from your guests, and gently push it out of the bottle (this helps to conserve the bubbles).
Opening a bottle of bubbly the ‘hey, check it out!’ way
Sabering your bottle of champers is seriously cool, in any guy’s book. Here’s how to do it: with your thumb firmly pressed on the cork, loosen the cage and refasten it above the bottle’s lip. Find the bottle’s seam, which runs the entire length of the glass. Make sure this is facing up and the cork is held out away from your body (with plenty of open space ahead of you). Place the saber on the seam and hold it 45 degrees to the bottle. With one fluid motion, scrape the blade up to the lip of the bottle, and voila!
How to serve bubbly
Use a tall, thin flute-shaped glass to enjoy your bubbly. New research suggests dimpled glass flutes could produce more bubbles in the glass, improving the overall taste of your champers and the drinking experience. Don’t use old-fashioned coupé-shaped glasses; these simply reduce the bubbles in your bubbly, leaving it flat