Nigeria is one the biggest champagne markets, and Nigerians are not slowing down in their consumption of the luxury sparkling wine from France.
However, one question that lingers steadily is if we are consuming champagne in the right way. While many Nigerians look forward to the end of the year when weddings and concerts will mean more champagne to be drunk, there are certain dos and donts experts from the House of Champagne Lanson have offered.
Dos on how to enjoy a glass of bubbly
Storing champagne properly simply means keeping it in cool, dry place. While it is normal for most people to store their champagne in the fridge, it is always best to have a wine cellar. Where there is no wine cellar, experts informed The Daily Mailthat the bottom of the wardrobe and a household cupboard are ideal alternatives.
Serve in the Right Glass
The reason why champagne is served in a fruit rather than other drinking glasses simply boils down to the bubbles. The sparkling bubbles in champagne are more likely to disappear faster when poured in a glass with a wider rim. Serving it in a flute glass will not only retain the bubbles but will also allow the flavours to be more concentrated.
Pair with Dessert
Rather than offering champagne only as a welcome drink at an event, experts advise that it should be paired with a portion of the meal. This is a much lighter, and fresher alternative to sweet dessert wine according to experts.
Drink champagne by itself always
Once in a while, mix your champagne with mint or lemon peel to enhance the flavour. Many people shy away from mixing champagne but experts say that as long as you are experimenting with other types of alcohol, you can also do same with champagne.
Fill a glass at once
Never pour an entire glass of champagne in one go. Experts advise that when pouring your champagne, it is ideal to first pour an inch into the glass and allow the foam to settle. Once the foam settles, you can then fill up the rest of the glass until it’s been filled two-thirds.
Chill champagne for long
Champagne is not pleasant to drink if it’s too cold expert claim. Therefore, it’s best to place your bottle of champagne in an ice bucket for around 30 minutes before serving to guests as opposed to chilling for long hours in the fridge.
Serve for special days
Except it’s a vintage champagne, most champagnes are sold during the time it is ideal for consumption. So it’s best to consume your champagne immediately after purchase, rather than keep it for years before popping.
Not a lot of drinks in the world is sweeter than champagne and regular drinkers of bubbly can attest to that. The very sight of champagne flutes full of bubbly brings us the sweetest joy at every appropriate occasion.
However, not all champagnes have the same sweetness level. If you are reading this, then you must be curious about how sweet your bottle of rose champagne, demi-sec or brut is.
Champagnes and Calories
As a lover of champagne, pinning down what type works for you in terms of its level of sweetness wouldn’t hurt. Below is a comprehensive list of champagne types and their calorie ranges.
Brut Nature – 0-2 calories – 0-3 g/l Residual sugar is equivalent to < 1/6 teaspoon of sugar per 5 oz. serving.
Extra Brut – 0–5 calories – 0-6 g/l Residual sugar is equivalent to < 1/4 teaspoon of sugar per 5 oz. serving.
Brut – 0–7 calories – 0-12 g/l Residual sugar is equivalent to < 1/2 teaspoon of sugar per 5 oz. serving.
Extra Dry – 7–10 calories – 12-17 g/l Residual sugar is equivalent to 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon of sugar per 5 oz. serving.
Dry – 10–20 calories – 17-32 g/l Residual sugar is equivalent to 3/4 – 1 teaspoon of sugar per 5 oz. serving.
Demi-Sec – 20-30 calories – 32-50 g/l Residual sugar is equivalent to 1 – 2 teaspoons of sugar per 5 oz. serving.
Doux – more than 30 calories – 50+ g/l Residual sugar is equivalent to over 2 teaspoons of sugar per 5 oz. serving.
It’s important to note that Brut has a lot of wiggle room when it comes to sweetness while Extra Brut and Brut Nature have significantly more focused sugar content. Brut Champagne is a level of sweetness in sparkling wine. The sweetness comes from a step in the Champagne making process called “dosage”, pronounced “doe-sazj”, which is when a small amount of sugar or grape must is put back into the wine before it’s corked. Because sparkling wine is traditionally very acidic, the purpose of this sweetness is to reduce the intensity of tartness. It’s like how we may add a little sugar to our coffee to “round out” the flavour. Eventually, sparkling wine producers realised that people’s sweetness preference varied, so several options where provided.
One of the fascinating facts on wine is how little sugar it takes to make wine taste sweet. If you looked into how many grams of sugar are actually in a 6 oz serving (177 ml) glass of sparkling wine, you’d learn it’s considerably low compared to other beverages. Including the most cloyingly sweet Demi-Sec style.
Don’t forget to click here for the widest range of champagnes available here in Nigeria at the most affordable prices!
Nico Rosberg had just clinched his first Formula 1 title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and while the press and fans stopped to ponder on Lewis Hamilton’s antics during the race, many of us knew what would follow during the victory celebrations.
It is not the first time we will see sportsmen and women spray themselves and spectators in celebration, especially after winning a major title. Most times it is like a competition of who is going to spray most.
Once the trophy comes out, and the athlete or athletes line up at the podium for their medals, the champagne bottles are rolling out, and soon it would be a galore of alcoholic fountains sprouting from green bottles.
What could be behind this age long ritual?
It dates back to the 1930’s when Fred Chandon started offering their champagne to the winners of French Formula 1 Grand Prix events on the famous Reims circuit in the heart of Champagne.
Usually, the winners will pop the bottle and swig bubbles of the sparkly wine, filling their victorious heads, or simply take it home for the after party.
Then came 1967, and the wonderful pair of Dan Gurney and A. J. Foyt won the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ford GT40. As usual, they were gifted bottles of Moët et Chandon, but Gurney did something different with his gift.
Not one who drank alcohol, Gurney did not do the customary swigging. Instead he placed his thumb over the open bottle, shook it hard and as the white effervescence burst out, he began to spray the crowd in circles – that was the day Champagne found a ritualistic role in sports.
Today, from Real Madrid players spraying Carlo Ancelotti in the press room after their UEFA Champions League victory in 2014 to the Cleveland Cavaliers champagne hurricane in their locker room after beating Golden State Warriors in the NBA Playoffs last season, champagne spraying has become a tradition for winners in sports.
Many have compared this ‘wasteful’ ritual to the expressive extravagance of the Belle Epoque of Europe, but for many of these sports people, it is the camaraderie that comes with the victory celebrations that they enjoy.
As with every tradition that comes into place, there have been regulations and rules formulated to guide it. In the US Major League Baseball, bringing of alcoholic drinks to the pitch has been forbidden: players are urged to celebrate with non-alcoholic wines. In Major League Football, victory celebrations with alcoholic drinks is banned.
The funny thing about these champagne celebrations is that in most cases, no one actually drinks it – and it’s sad when you think of the fact that these are not just expensive champagnes, they are actually the good stuff, the type we all want to smack our taste buds with.
However, these sportspeople don’t care. A trophy won, peppered eyes, champagne soaked, and a bottle in hand to soak others with – it is a feeling many of these sports people will never give up for anything.
Apparently, the marriage between sports victory celebrations and champagne baths is still a long way from divorce.
Champagne is a wine of class and style and should be so consumed. However, due to the celebratory feel that comes with drinking champagne, many of us tend to abuse it.
From weddings to birthdays, graduation to end of year parties, champagne is a regular among party goers. But apparently, some people have not been schooled enough in the drink to respect its etiquette.
Here are five ways people continually drink champagne the wrong way.
Chug straight from the bottle
It is proper to note that champagne is a wine – a special sparkling wine from the Champagne province of France. Thus, it comes with all the sweet aromas and tasty flavours that all sparkling and still wines have.
The proper thing to do is pour your champagne into a glass, let the aromas seduce your thirst, and savour the flavours on your palate when you sup it.
What most people do is pop open a bottle of champagne, let half of the contents pour onto the floor and chug the rest straight from the bottle. This is totally disrespectful to the drink!
It is appalling to walk into a wedding venue and see a group of guys with several empty bottles of champagne littered on their table or around them. While it is of financial advantage to the vendors to sell more champagne, it is out of place to consume the drink in an unmindful manner.
Champagne is best consumed as an aperitif, paired with food or shared with friends and loved ones as a mark of celebration.
Too much chill
Most people over-cool their champagne before drinking. However, most champagne varieties are best consumed at a temperature of 8-10°C (47-50°F). To achieve this, keep your champagne bottle in an ice bucket for 15 to 20 minutes. You can as well keep in the fridge for not more than two hours.
It is the wrong etiquette to keep your bottle of sparkly goodness on cold for longer than required. Doing so prevents some of the finer aromas to reach the taste buds when you drink, giving you a simple and plain experience when it should not be so.
Using the wrong glass
Champagne is a complex wine with lots of aromas and flavours all bearing the characteristics of the grapes it is made from. Just as using the right glass matters for every other drink, using the right glass for drinking champagne is also highly important.
The Champagne flute is floated as the traditional glass for drinking your fizz. However, some people prefer using a white wine glass.
Even your bartender will tell you not to mix champagne with things you have no idea of. Except for champagne cocktails, there is absolutely no need to mix champagne with other drinks. So fight every urge of mixing your champagne with energy drinks or other sparkling wines.
Champagne, they say, is the official drink of celebration – and Valentine’s Day is one special occasion worth celebrating for lovebirds.
From all the bubbly goodness to the exciting flavours, champagnes are worthy pairs for celebrating love and romance.
So with February 14th hours away, we have picked out 5 luxe picks for you and that ‘specialo uno’ to toast to.
MOET & CHANDON NECTAR IMPERIAL ROSE
Rich, luscious and vibrant, this Champagne is a perfect accompaniment to a romantic evening meal by candlelight. The fruity flavours of the champagne are in sync with the elegance this champagne exudes.
LAURENT PERRIER DEMI SEC
Fresh and racy, Laurent Perrier Demi Sec can be the first spark of sweetness for your Valentine’s night. It is a classic aperitif and its mineral character offers a refreshing sip.
VEUVE CLICQUOT BRUT
A fine balance between fruity aromas and subtle toasty notes blends easily with resounding hints of honeydew melon, nuts, and organic blossom to give you a sweet wine for Valentine’s date. Romance couldn’t be complete without Veuve’s yellow label present in all the redness of rose flowers.
DOM PERIGNON BRUT
A bottle of Dom Perignon is a bold step towards impressing your lover on a special day. Enjoy Dom Perignon chilled at 50-54 Degrees Fahrenheit, with seafood and strawberries. It is delicate with floral notes and fruity flavours like peaches and lemon on the nose, with great depth and complexity on the palate.
G.H. MUMM DEMI SEC
A deep golden yellow colour and amber glints bring an abundance of lively bubbles to your Valentine’s Day date. Beautifully paired with fruit salad, blue cheese, apricot or caramelised peach crumble, this is one champagne worth ordering for your romantic meal.
Methuselah, Salmanazar, Jeroboam, Rehoboam, Nebuchadnezzar are names more popular with Christians and Bible scholars than with champagne drinkers.
You may wonder what champagne drinking has got to do with these biblical characters. Well, these same names also denote different sizes of champagne bottles.
While the most common champagne bottle is the traditional 75CL bottle, followed by the ‘magnum’ 2-litre bottle, other bottle sizes are not quite as popular. However, aside from their massive sizes, there is a bit of mystery surrounding their names.
Why are Champagne bottles named after biblical kings?
No one knows exactly why Champagne producers chose to name magnum bottles after ancient Jewish kings and patriarchs. However, Champagne expert Francois Bonal suggested that winemakers in Bordeaux had been using the name Jeroboam for the four-bottle size since 1725.
It is believed that the name Jeroboam (the biblical founder of Israel who ruled from 931-920 BC) was used because he is considered in Jewish history as “a man of great worth,” just as the larger sized champagne bottles.
Bonal further explains that a Champagne Medieval poet, Eugene Destuche, mentioned several of these names in his poetry. The region of Champagne adopted the Jeroboam size and followed suit with larger format bottles developed in the 1940’s, continuing the practice of selecting biblical kings and patriarchs.
What Bible king owns what size?
King of Israel in 9th century BC
Son of Solomon and king of Israel in 10th century BC
Named after the biblical patriarch who lived 969 years
Named after an Assyrian king that lived in the 9th century BC
Named after a regent of Babylon, living in the 6th century BC. One of the Three Wise Men who followed the Star of Bethlehem to the nativity.
The king of Babylon who lived in the 6th century BC
One of the Three Wise Men, who might have been the magi to give the baby Jesus gold.
The third king of Israel as well as the son of David. He is a prophet in both the Talmud and the Quran.
Goliath (or Primat)
The giant Philistine warrior that a young King David had to face in the famous Bible story.
King of Salem and he a priest of God.
These bottle names may be a tribute to these ancient kings, but if look a bit deeper, you’ll find that each name is completely appropriate for each bottle size.
For example, the Methuselah might be a playful statement on the ageing potential for a wine in a 6-litre bottle.
Balthazar was a Babylonian king who drank some wine out of holy chalices from a temple and incurred God’s wrath. While Balthazar was partying, the Persians invaded and the Babylonians lost power. This might be a playful reminder of what is at risk if you intend finishing 12 litres of champagne alone.
In the chronology of Jewish kings, Rehoboam came after Jeroboam. It goes without saying why both bottle sizes are named accordingly.
For the Goliath, even if the name was not in use, it would still be a fitting adjective for a bottle that holds a whopping 36 standard bottles of champagne.
Champagne is a drink of class. It creates a difference whenever it is popped, wherever it is sipped. It is the romance in romantic dinners, the celebration of simple gatherings, and the music of victory dances.
So for an entertaining holiday in Lagos, there is only one drink that will spark up your life much more than the beautiful fireworks that will adorn the skies – champagne.
Thus, we bring you a guide on the best places to go to and enjoy your champagne this holiday.
Cuvée de Prestige is a top of the range proprietary blended Champagne which is produced to the highest standards. Cuvée de prestige Champagnes is produced by all Champagne Houses, named after notable people with a link to that House and presented in bespoke bottles with non-standard shapes. It is the most luxurious of champagnes – the crème de la crème of champagnes.
Blanc de Noirs
Blanc de Noirs is a French term for white wine or Champagne which is produced entirely from black grapes. As the flesh of grapes which are classified as black or red is, in fact, white, the wine which is produced from these grapes without contact with their skins is in fact essentially white (though it may have a slightly yellower tinge than that of wine produced from white grapes). Blanc de Noirs is made from a combination of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a blend of these two as they are the only two black grapes which are permitted in the making of Champagne.
Blanc de Blancs
Blanc de Blancs (‘white from white’) is a French term for Champagne which is made approximately exclusively from white Chardonnay grapes. Elegant, lithe and pleasing to a mainstream drinker, it is the Champagne of choice among serious oenophiles.
The key Champagne districts where Blanc de Blancs are grown the Côte des Blancs and Côte de Sézanne, the two subregions where the best Chardonnay is grown.
Sommeliers fall for the Blanc de Blancs – the lithe wine is a major feature on their restaurant menu and even at bars at home. It is particularly well suited to pairing with food.
Rosé Champagne, also referred to as Pink Champagne is produced by two methods. The first method is the saignée method where the clear juice of black gapes is left to soak on its skins for a short period.
The second method involves adding a small amount of Pinot Noir red wine to the sparkling cuvée. This allows a pink colour which is consistent and recognisable to be produced from year to year.
Rosé Champagne is extremely popular in middle to upper-class society owing to its soft, fruity yet elegant aromas. It is one of the most preferred wines for wine drinkers with a sweet palate.
Rosé Nectar is a new category of Champagne which has been created solely for the Nigerian and American palette. The taste tends to be significantly sweeter than that of Europe and the rest of the world.
It is a deep, pink Champagne, with nuanced coppery shades. Rosé Nectar Champagne is vibrantly aromatic, combining a bouquet of blackberry, blackcurrant, and cherry flavours with herbal and heady floral notes, It is naturally creamy in the finish.
Know Your Champagne Types by Sweetness
Champagne is further categorised based on the sweetness level. The ripeness of the grapes and the amount of sugar added after the second fermentation affects the levels of sugar left over in the Champagne after bottling.
Brut Zero – Champagnes with this label have no sugar added to them and this will render them exceptionally dry, with less than 3 grams of residual sugar per litre. The term Brut can be translated from French as meaning ‘raw’; it, therefore, refers to the Champagne as being in its natural state without the addition of sugar.
Extra Brut Champagne – This champagne contains less than 6 grams of residual sugar per litre.
Brut Champagne – Champagnes labelled Brut contain less than 12 grams of residual sugar per litre.
Extra Dry Champagne – The sugar level in this Champagne is between 12 to 17 grams of residual sugar per litre.
Sec Champagne – Secs contain between 17 and 32 grams of residual sugar per litre.
Demi-sec Champagne – This is slightly sweet and contains between 32 and 50 grams of residual sugar per litre.
Doux Champagne – This is sweet of sweets among champagnes. It contains an astonishing 50 grams of residual sugar per litre.
The large majority of Champagne produced in contemporary society is non-vintage; this simply means that it is made from a blend of grapes from several vintages. The base of non-vintage wines will, however, be from a single vintage, with producers blending 10 -15% of wine from older vintages (although this may be as high as 40% in some instances).
In some years when the conditions are favourable, Champagne producers will make vintage Champagne composed entirely of the grapes from that vintage year. Vintage Champagne must mature for at least 3 years prior to being sold. The regulations stipulate that houses which produce both vintage and non-vintage Champagnes can only use 80% of the vintage’s total harvest in the production of vintage Champagne. This ensures a consistency in the style which consumers can expect from non-vintage Champagne; a failure to exercise this caveat may have a detrimental effect on the house’s non-vintage reputation.
A study recently found that Champagne is beneficial to one’s health, helping the brain to cope with the trauma of a stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease as the high amounts of antioxidant polyphenols present in Champagne can help prevent deterioration of the brain cells!
So – what are you waiting for? Get those corks popping!!
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and premium champagne brand, Moët & Chandon has teamed up with Snap to develop a mobile game for its “Love Unconventional” campaign.
The campaign, which is set to run from Valentine’s Day to Mother’s Day, is part of the exodus of luxury brands from traditional advertising to mobile and social media platforms.
To play, users shoot corks at a tower of champagne glasses to earn points with the most points earned by those who get the cork in the top single-level glass. The winners get the chance to write a love poem with input from modern artist and poet Cleo Wade.
Moët & Chandon will be market the game on its social platforms with heavy influencer content on Facebook and Instagram where users will be given a link to a browser-based version—as well as through ads on Snapchat Discover.
“A lot of advertisers, especially in the luxury space, use Snapchat to amplify content,” Christine Ngo, marketing director and head of US customer engagement at Moët & Chandon told AdExchanger.
“We really wanted to engage people in this program.”
With Snap’s help, the premium champagne brand will target Snapchat users interested in luxury, wines, and spirits. The campaign will be gated and targeted to consumers 25 and older.
So would you log on to Snapchat and get busy writing love poems with Moët & Chandon’s game? It’s a game you can play with your significant other on Valentine night. Just make sure to order a bottle of Moët while at it.
Champagnes have always been part of celebrations and weddings are one of the most important life ceremonies.
A recent report by CNN said the Nigerian wedding industry is worth millions of dollars, according to the market research group, TNS Global. A good part of the budget for most weddings goes for drinks, before, during and after the wedding, and champagne is a regular feature on the menu.
‘The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai’ covers the expensive nature of Nigerian weddings – a theme that is prevalent in the first installment of the film.
In partnership with Diageo, the film also displays some of the brands, in both the spirits and beer category, that are regularly ordered for wedding parties in Nigeria. While there was no particular attention given to the drinks in part one except for visibility, particular attention was given to a champagne in part two.
Recall the scene on the yacht when Nonso Onwuka (Enyinna Igwe) announces his engagement to Deardre Winston (Daniella Down)? Shortly before the Onwuka and the Cokers are seated for that dinner, Tinuade Coker ( Sola Sobowale) requests for a special French champagne to be brought. As they get settled, a bottle of Bollinger champagne is brought to the table.
Wondering what Bollinger Champagne is?
Bollinger Champagne is made by the prestigious Bollinger House of Champagne in France. Founded in 1829, the family-owned brand makes uncompromising rich and powerful champagne styles offering great potential longevity and complexity.
In ‘The Wedding Party 2’, Sola Sobowale distinctly announces the French roots of the champagne, with particular mention of its hallowed wine-making style. She practically turns down the champagne on the menu for Bollinger to further heighten the preference of the classic Pinot-dominant champagnes.
Bollinger uses only the first pressing of high-quality grapes from vineyards in the Marne (ie. Bollinger never uses grapes from the Aube region). It is fermented in oak barrels, making the Champagne well-suited to aging in the cellar.
Under the Bollinger name, the family produces the following wines: Special Cuvée (non-vintage), Grande Année (vintage), R.D. (vintage), Vieille Vignes Françaises (vintage), and Coteaux Champenois La Côte aux Enfants (vintage).
To better understand the reason why this champagne was a relevant feature in the record-breaking film, order a bottle for yourself. The beautiful rounded structure combined with rich, complex and intense aromas will leave you partying all the way beyond the wedding ceremony.
Champagne is known for its traditional use in celebrations and parties, but there are several other times when it has been used for something other than drinking.
Some of these weird uses of one of the world’s most famous alcoholic beverage were one time occasions, other have become ritualistic and symbolic in their practices.
There are many times that this sparkling and bubbly drink has been used for some other reason, other than drinking, but we bring five of the weirdest usages you can think of.
Used in Ship Launching
Before a ship sails off into the sea, it is usually hit on by a bottle of alcohol – usually champagne. This is a rite performed to bring safe voyages and seafaring for the ship and its occupants.
A rope is tied to the ship and to the champagne neck in such a way that when the ship moves, the rope swings and brings the champagne bottle to smash against the body of the ship, while its contents empty into the sea.
This tradition is not only done for ships alone but also involves the launching of airplanes too.
A tradition started in the 1967’s during a Formula 1 victory ceremony of Dan Gurney and A. J. Foyt after winning the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. Gurney, rather than drink from the champagne gift handed to him, shook the bottle vigorously, his thumb pressed against the open top, and then removing his thumb, he sprayed the contents on spectators and Foyt.
Gurney’s move sparked a tradition that is still in vogue even to this day in Formula One and has quickly spread to other sports where athletes bath each other with champagne in celebration of a major success – the trophy of no trophy.
Irish rock band, U2, have been known to end their concerts by spraying bottles of champagne on the audience before leaving the stage. Whatever this means to the music group, we have no idea but it is certainly a version of the weird use of champagne other than drinking.
Champagne sinking is a tradition that results from the ban placed on spraying people with champagne in Sweden. As a result, the sparkling wine is poured down the sink in what is now referred to as ‘sinking.’
Wikipedia explains that “the sinking is usually done by a person ordering two bottles of champagne and asking the bartender to pour out (sink) one of them.”
So sinking is a more civil of the wasteful spraying of champagne.
Marilyn Monroe’s Champagne Bath
This was a one-time thing but it is one of the weirdest uses of champagne you can ever think of.
Marilyn is reported to have taken a bath in 350 bottles’ – worth of champagne – that’s 262.5 litres, which would fill an average bath of 270 litres to the brim.
Now that was one bath that will forever go down as weird and interesting in history.
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