"This family-owned Champagne house was founded in 1763, and its historic caves (built across three levels) embody three distinct architectural styles: Gothic, Renaissance, and Romanesque. The chamber pictured here holds the iconic Champagne Armand de Brignac, which is produced by the Cattier property. In 2014 musician Jay-Z bought the Armand de Brignac brand, after previously featuring its iconic gold bottles in a music video." --https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/champagne-caves-wine-cellars-france
Touring the cellars of various champagne shippers sounds like it would be fun, but I'd even more like to drive around in the vineyards and see the growing grapes.
"Although the legend of Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon creating sparkling wine in the late 1600’s and declaring 'come quickly, I am tasting the stars!' is a lovely, romantic story it also unfortunately is not true. The reality is that intentionally creating sparkling wine was a trial and error process over hundreds of years. If anything, bubbles in wine were more commonly viewed as a flaw and it was quite some time before we would come to view Champagne with the reverence and awe of today." --https://www.cellarangels.com/wine-tasting-blog/how-do-they-put-bubbles-in-champagne-1573119188.html
How does carbon dioxide get into champagne so it can pop the cork and then form bubbles in your glass?
"To generate enough carbon dioxide to make bubbles, winemakers actually need to ferment champagne twice. That’s because the grapes in champagne aren’t very sweet, so there isn’t a lot of sugar for the yeast to eat. After the first round of fermentation, the wine is only about nine percent alcohol, which is pretty low — your average glass of champagne is usually closer to 12 percent. And the carbon dioxide is allowed to escape, so no bubbles form.
"In the second round of fermentation, winemakers add a little bit of extra sugar — either cane or beet — and, more yeast. Then, they cap the bottle, sealing everything inside. The yeast ferment the sugars and produce more carbon dioxide and alcohol. They also die, and digest themselves, producing the molecules responsible for the more toasty, yeasty flavors in aged champagne." --https://www.theverge.com/2016/12/31/14135404/champagne-sparkling-wine-science-bubbles-physics-alcohol-hangovers-new-years
Finally, what makes the bubbles form when you fill your glass with champagne?
"Scientists at the University of Reims, France have discovered that tiny gas pockets and fibers stuck on the inside of a glass—from dust or a towel used for drying—influence the timing of the bubble trains.
"'Fibers entrap a tiny air pocket when Champagne is poured,' said physicist Gerard Liger-Belair. 'Then, this tiny air pocket literally sucks the [dissolved] carbon dioxide.'" --https://www.livescience.com/4244-champagne-bubble-mystery-solved.html
Champagne is definitely the wine for this New Year's week, but I like non-bubbly wine better -- maybe I'm like the singer of Cole Porter's song: "I get no kick from champagne." However, it's perfect for the weekly drinking party at Elizabeth's blog!
I have assembled this collection of quotes for this post on my food blog (mae food dot blog spot dot com) and if you are reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen!
Have a great New Year's Eve, and let's hope for a better year in 2021.