One of the best sounds in the world is the pop of a champagne cork. I’m quite a fan of bubbles. Who isn’t?
As the weather warms up and the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival draws nearer, I’m sharing my favourite drops.
For drinks with the girls
For a splurge
- Pol Roger – served at the wedding of Harry and Meghan
- Bollinger – the booze of choice for Patsy and Edwina from Absolutely Fabulous
- Veuve Cliquot – means “widow Cliquot’, named after its founder, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin who successfully ran the winery after her husband’s death
For the races
On a budget
My two favourite champagne cocktails
Cassis champagne cocktail
- 80 ml Crème De Cassis
- 750 ml champagne or sparkling wine
- 8 sugar cubes (optional, but they look cute)
- 8 champagne flutes
Place a sugar cube in each flute, add two teaspoons of Crème De Cassis in each glass and top with bubbbles.
Strawberry sparkling cocktail
- 80 g icing sugar
- flesh of one lemon
- 250 g of hulled strawberries
- 100 g ice cubes
- 100 g Cointreau or grand Marnier
- 1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine
Blend sugar, lemon, strawberries, Cointreau and ice cubes in a high speed blender or Thermomix (20 secs, speed 9).
Add bubbles and mix (Thermomix: 5 secs, speed 1).
Serve in sugared glasses with a strawberry on the rim.
Interesting trivia I found on the internet
- UK prime minster Winston Churchill drank a glass of Pol Roger daily at 11am
- apparently, the old-fashioned wide-brimmed glass was styled after Marie Antoinette’s breast
- the wide-brimmed glasses aren’t used much these days because the large surface area of the liquid means the champagne goes flat quicker (they look cool though, don’t they?)
How to be a wine snob and annoy people
- correct their pronunciation of Moët. It is pronounced mo-wett (you include the t) because Moët is Dutch, not French.
- point out that they are incorrect when they call sparkling wine champagne (we all know only true champagne comes from Champagne region in France, we don’t need a know-it-all butting in, yeah?)
Storing, serving and pouring tips
- add water to your ice bucket because it makes it easier to submerge the bottle in the ice
- glasses should be flat on a surface when poured, not tilted
- leave the wire cage on the cork when you open a bottle, just loosen it first
- six twists is the ideal number to twist the wire cage
- if the cork flies off when you open the bottle, it’s a sign the temperature is too warm (but you’ve opened the bottle already, so what are you gonna do?)