Dom Pérignon: Your Guide to Champagne

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Did you know a bottle of Dom Pérignon sold for $93,260 in an auction in 2004?  Dom Pérignon was also the champagne served at Princess Diana’s wedding.  It is a drink of celebration, of richness, of perfection… 

We are about 4 weeks away from the celebrating Christmas and then New Year’s Eve.  Both occasions worthy of breaking open a bottle of Dom Pérignon.  If you grew up with my family you would be drinking champagne with your breakfast during the holidays.  Champagne and eating my mother’s famous Christmas Bread, with candied fruit and icing drizzled all over it.  I’m pondering a gluten free version of this bread as part of my holiday themed posts.

Food is not the only characteristic of the holidays, drinks are important too.  That is if you drink a little alcohol.  We all know the main basics of serving alcohol at parties: don’t let your guests drink and drive.  As the hostess or the guest be mindful of how much you consume.

Sparkling Wine or Champagne?

First off you must choose if you want sparkling wine or champagne.  Sparkling wine has the characteristic bubbles of champagne but can NEVER be called champagne since only grapes from the Champagne region of France can have that name.  Really you are choosing the region of where your sparkling wine has been produced.

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Along with champagne you will want to offer a variety of drinks.  Consider making a special cocktail for your holiday party.  Stock your bar with the basics needed to make an awesome martini.  I’m in the process of reviewing a Paleo style cocktail book called, Natural Cocktails, so you will receive more information on how to make your own natural cocktail for your holiday party

At some point in the evening you will want to break out that bottle of champagne and celebrate.  You might be celebrating the New Year, new goals, good times with friends, or new journeys in your life.  There are some champagne basics you need to know. For instance, when you improperly open a champagne bottle the cork will go flying!

How to open a bottle of Dom Pérignon without injuring your guests or destroying your ceiling

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  1. First chill the bottle, for about three hours.  Chill the bottle in the refrigerator or a bucket of ice water.
  2. When the bottle is chilled, wrap a towel or cloth around the bottle in case the bottle breaks when opening.
  3. Remove the foil wrap around the cork.
  4. As shown in the video, place the bottle at your waist, place one hand firmly on the neck of the bottle and put your thumb on the metal capsule against the cork.
  5. You see the metal wire around the cork.  Twist the wire ring six half-turns counter clockwise.  Remove the wire and place your thumb over the cork.
  6. Tilt the bottle at a 45° angle, facing away from you.  This is very important.  Keep the bottle pointed away from you and guests and anything breakable.
  7. Hold the cork and slowly twist the bottle.  Yes, that is correct, hold the cork and slowly twist the bottle.
  8. You will feel the cork loosen and lift. Allow the cork to slowly ease out of the bottle. If done correctly, you will hear a gentle “sigh” rather than a “pop”.

Watch this 2 minute video describing the whole process.  You’ll be the champagne expert at your party!

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This post was brought to you by Tesco Wine.

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