Champagne — Simple or Complex, But Definitely Never Boring

Mimosa

10 Amazing Champagne Drink You Must Try

Lily Bollinger, owner of Bollinger Champagne, said it best: “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it — unless I’m thirsty.”

Although very close to sparkling wine, champagne is different in that it can only be made from six different types of grapes. The most common are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Some varietals are also used, although less often. They are Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier and Arbane.

The process for turning the grapes into champagne is where the difference lies. Grapes used for champagne must be hand-picked and pressed as whole clusters rather than being destemmed. Further, champagnes must rest at least 15 months on lees (deposits of dead yeast) for non-vintage crus and 36 months for vintage crus.

Here are a few of the more delightful ways I’ve found to drink champagne:

1. Mimosa

I love to start a weekend brunch with a mimosa: two ounces of orange juice and four ounces of champagne.

I usually chill champagne flutes in the refrigerator for about an hour, then fill the glass one-half to two-thirds with champagne and top with orange juice.

For an extra bit of flavor, I sometimes add a teaspoon or two of Grand Marnier. I’ve been told that you can also add a dash of orange bitters to give it a more complex taste.

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