The GG’s on Champagne: So Good It Hurts
Hello, wine lovers of the world! And a Happy New Year to you!
Nothing says New Year’s Eve quite like our friend Champagne does. I mean, she’s bubbly, she’s sparkly, she’s festive…she’s like a party in your mouth. But be warned, wine lover: the best parties are often the ones that hurt juuuuuust a little bit.
Today, we found a little Champagne Henriot for our journey. This medium-bodied bubbly was full throttle in our glasses. An “active” wine (which, we are assuming is code for “Watch out because she might try to kill you with her bubbles”), she’s classified as having excellent acidity (much to Lo’s chagrin), a bright, crisp and dry quality, and (again – not Lo’s favorite quality) a mineral finish and crisp apple notes. Basically, a bunch of qualities we didn’t expect to LOVE, but hey, a Grape Girl ALWAYS finishes her class. Even if it hurts. And much to our surprise, we didn’t HATE drinking her. Maybe not an every day
Two Untraditional Gals on the Traditional Method
We wanted to do a crash course in how Champagne is made, but for those of you who like to follow along in your hymnals, here’s a handy dandy outline of how the process goes:
- Harvest – You know, the growing and nurturing and just-at-the-right-time picking of the grapes. Usually Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes.
- Pressing – A la Lucy and Ethel, but likely with more than four feet and twenty toes. Way less fun, but way more hygienic.
- First Fermentation – Quick and warm, the goal here is to get that acidity level up.
- Blending – A dash of this, a dose of that – the masters decide exactly what kind of lady they want her to be. Oh, if only it were that easy…
- Second Fermentation – A longer process, usually 4-8 weeks, where active yeast consumes the available sugar and makes alcohol.
- Lees Aging – the period of aging where the wine will start to interact with dead yeast cells and give the wine it’s flavors. Let the razzle dazzle begin!
- Remuage – moving the dead yeast sediment by storing the wine on it’s side and slowing turning it upside down so the sediment falls to the neck of the bottle. #YeastNeck
- Disgorgement – removing the crown cap and the dead yeast sediment. Fun fact: Usually done by freezing the neck, removing the crown cap and letting handy-dandy science push out the “yeast plug”.
- Doseage – refilling the space previously reserved for dead yeast with champagne and sugar, ultimately determining the sweetness of the bubbly.
- Re-corking – stick a cork in it ’cause we’re DONE, baby!
And there you have it. Champs! What’s your favorite bubbly to pop this New Year’s Eve? Head on over to Twitter (@thegrapegirls) or Instagram (@anywineanytime) and let us know! And hey, guess what? Now you can find Lo & Tee on Snapchat (@thegrapegirls) for even more daily wine shenanigans! Follow us, and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube page while you’re at it!
Have a lovely, safe and slightly slurry New Year’s, Everyone! Let’s #TipItandSipIt to 2016!
Lo & Tee
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