How To Celebrate Champagne Day in Style With Veuve Vlicquot (LCBO)
The official – official! – Champagne Day is October 20. I don’t know about you, but I think having an official day to celebrate the sparkle is probably the best thing to happen to Champagne since Dom Perignon.
For eight years now, those sly Champers champions have been celebrating this hallowed day to promote there is one – and only one – Champagne. Sure you can pop the cork on Prosecco, Crémant or Cava, but if your bubbles did not come from the mineral laced, chalky soils of Champagne, you are simply not drinking Champagne. Mais non.
But how does one mark such an occasion? I suppose any way you please, but if you want to get swanky, here’s some ideas.
Open your bubbly like a boss.
Nothing is as commanding or awe inspiring as lopping off the top off your bottle in one swift motion. Trust me, I do it all the time.
But to make sure no one loses an eye or finger, let’s put some safety checks in place:
- Chill your bottle so it is very, very cold.
- Remove the foil and wire cage from around the cork.
- Firmly grasp the bottom of the bottle with one hand, point it away from you (and others). Find the seam that runs vertically along one side of the bottle (it’s there), and note where the seam meets the lip. This is the line you will follow with your blade, making contact at the lip.
- Rest your sabre, or the dull edge of your knife (using the blade side will damage your knife and the sharpness isn’t required for this action).
- In one fluid, confident motion quickly slide the sabre up the bottle making contact just under the lip. The combined weakest area of the glass, along with the 90-pounds-per-inch pressure inside the bottle will result in one, neat beheading, smooth and clean and perfectly safe for pouring and drinking the bubbly inside.
- *Note: this may require some practice, so chill a few bottles . And, safety goggles are never a bad idea for beginners.
Create your own champagne dinner!
Champagne is one of the most food friendly wines there is, thanks to its naturally high acidity. You can almost pair anything but some of our favourites here at DTO HQ are:
- Popcorn with truffle oil
- Tempura (anything)
- Lobster and butter sauce
- Runny, salty cheeses
- Mushroom risotto
- Scrambled eggs
Read About It
If you are more of a cerebral imbiber, there are plenty of top-notch reads about the world’s most celebrated wine. I personally like the biography on Veuve Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzeo. Conveniently titled, “The Window Clicquot” Mazzeo explores Barbe-Nicole’s incredible life, weaving in the dangerous political and economic climate that directly affected the Widow’s struggle and ultimate success.
I believe it’s sacrilege to recommend a sparkling wine other than true Champagne to drink on Champagne Day, but the reality is Champagne has paved the way for premium bubblies made around the world.
Called the “Traditional Method,” it’s the specific way Champagne is made. The process is laborious, first bottling still wine and then adding more sugar and yeast before capping it. The wine inside ferments a second time, which creates CO2, or, the bubbles.
Wineries around the world have adopted this prestigious method for making fine sparkling, and while most global wineries will pride themselves on their own unique terroir, the ending result from the way of making fizz in the traditional method is usually well crafted, elegant bubbles that have a certain resemblance to Champagne.
The bubblies I wrote about earlier, would still certainly make excellent stand-ins for Champagne Day, or consider these affordable options for popping:
Cave Spring Blancs de Blancs Brut Sparkling, VQA Niagara Escarpement, ON NV
$29.95 Vintages 213983
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, Spain, NV
$15.45 LCBO 216960
De Chanceny Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé, Loire, France NV
$19.30 LCBO 211466
Til You Make It
However, like New Year’s and weddings, some days just call for the real thing, and certainly Champagne Day is one of those occasions. Here is what we will be sipping:
Pol Roger Brut Champagne, France NV
$67.45 LCBO 217158
Laurent Perrier Cuvée Brut Rosé” Champagne, France NV
$99.95 Vintages 158550
Tarlant Brut Reserve Champagne, France NV
$44.15 LCBO 325167