Is there anything more classic than champagne to ring in the new year? We didn’t think so. But before you rush off to the Signature BC Liquor Store, we’re putting together a crash course in this bubbly beverage to ensure you find the perfect bottle and cocktail recipe to toast to 2023.
What is champagne?
Technically speaking, champagne is a sparkling wine, though not all sparkling wine is considered champagne. To earn the elusive title, the product in question must come from the Champagne region of France and the vineyards must adhere to specific growing, harvesting, and fermenting practices. Champagne is generally made from pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay grapes though on some occasions, pinot blanc and pinot gris are used, too.
How should I drink it?
While champagne is typically severed chilled in a champagne flute—a specific glass that provides the ideal shape and amount of surface area to prevent the champagne from losing its carbonation too quickly—it can also be used in cocktails if you’re in the mood to mix.
Combine equal parts champagne with pink lemonade and garnish with raspberries for a heavenly lemonade; champagne and orange juice for a mimosa; or make your own champagne punch:
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 4 cups pomegranate juice
- 3 cups orange juice
- 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
- 2 bottles of champagne
- 1 orange, sliced
Combine juices, Grand Marnier, and champagne in a punch bowl or large beverage dispenser with ice. Chill and serve with mint leaves and orange slices as a garnish.
What’s a good champagne alternative?
There are numerous sparkling wines on the marketing (even some made in BC) that are still delicious, bubbly, and perfect for celebrating. Or, for a fun non-alcoholic alternative, try sparkling apple juice—but don’t skip out on the fancy champagne flute.
Cheers and may your 2023 be exciting, uplifting, and full of adventure.