Sunday, December 30, 2012

Champagne! The Rich Man's Alka-Seltzer!

Dom Perignon famously said after his first sip of champagne, "Come quickly!  I am tasting stars!" and I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment.

Somehow toasting "new things" such as weddings, births, raises, a new house or apartment and New Year's with champagne  has become an American tradition.  Extensive research didn't tell me why though.  I would like to think it's the energetic effervescence of the drink itself.  Few things sound as cheery to me as the pop! of a bottle of champagne being opened.  It's very nearly a guarantee that good things are just about to happen. 

When we serve it here at the house, the guys present like to open it out on the balcony -- to see how far the cork will fly out into the yard below.  Guys (shake of the head) - It's always a contest, you know?

Heloise the Practical took pen in hand to advise us not to let champagne age; it's a "now" drink.  Amen, Heloise!  She went into sizes of the various bottles -- some of them I didn't even know existed (but well worth looking into.)    Here is Heloise's list:

Split - 18.7 of a centiliter; a centiliter is a 10th of a litre. 
Half bottle - 37.5 centilitres
Bottle = 75.0 centilitres
Magnum = two bottles
Double magnum or Jeroboam = four bottles
Rehoboam = six bottles
Methuselah or Imperial = eight bottles
Salamanazer = 12 bottles
Balthazar = 16 bottles
Nebuchadnezzar = 20 bottles and weighs 83 pounds!  How the hell you'd serve one is beyond me so I hastily e'd my nephew, a professional sommelier, about it.  As he is also a bachelor, he is unlikely to give me an answer before noon on a Sunday, so ... when I find out, you will, too.  I would imagine it's set in a tilting rack of some sort for pouring. printed advice on how to get champagne stains out of clothing, napkins, etc. and frankly, I take issue with that.  Champagne doesn't stain!   And I ought to know, okay?  I am a veteran champagne swigger.  The worst it can do is a light stickiness.  HuffPost says to keep a small bowl of warm water with mild dishwashing soap in it to daub at the sticky spot and then rinse with daubs of clean, warm water. 

Humph - what a bunch of spoilsports!  They'll never taste the stars...poor things.  

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