Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Popping the Cork for New Year's?

In case you can't tell from my previous posts, Champagne is definitely one of my favorite things. With it's lively fruit flavors, crisp acidity and signature, nose-tickling carbonation, it just calls to mind good times with friends and happy occasions.

I have even kept some of my most memorable bottles over the years (empty of course!): the bottle of Freixenet I drank on Pledge Saturday at Rollins College (yay, Kappa Alpha Theta!), my first bottle of vintage Champagne (a 1966 Dom Perignon), as well as my first bottle of Cristal. A few years ago, I even had the opportunity to open a bottle of Champagne using "sabrage," a technique for opening a champagne bottle with a saber. I was terrified, but luckily the top popped off on my first try - whew!

I plan on opening a bottle of Champagne (or 3) on New Year's Eve (although not with a saber!) and, if you are planning on doing the same, I have included some tips from "Savor the Moment" on how best to handle your bubbly. You can also check out one of my favorite SNL skits where Christopher Walken as "The Continental" describes "shum-pan-yeh" in the most eloquent way. Whatever your drink of choice may be, enjoy and have a happy and safe New Year's!

Popping the Cork (pg. 21)
The best way to pop a cork on a bottle of Champagne is to first make sure the bottle has been stationary for at least a coupe of hours. This reduces the volatility of the carbonation, lessening the liklihood of the cork's flying out when the bottle is opened. Hold the cork in place with one hand and, with the other hand, untwist the wire cage that secures the cork in the bottle. Rest the bottle on your hip, and twist the bottle slowly, while continuing to hold the cork in place. Ease the cork upward, applying gentle pressure to keep it from popping out and making sure that the bottle is not pointed toward anyone. To prevent accidents, wrap the top of the bottle in a towel.

Also, ever wonder what the heck someone was talking about when they referred to a "Jeroboam" of their favorite wine or Champagne? Below is your cheat sheet to wine bottle sizes - some are even named after Biblical kings to sound even more fabulous!

A Champagne bottle contains 750 milliliters. A split is 1/4 of a bottle. A magnum is 2 bottles; a Jeroboam is 4 bottles; a Rehoboam is 6 bottles; a Methuselah or Imperial is 8 bottles; a Salmanazar is 12 bottles; a Balthazar is 16 bottles; and a Nebuchadnezzar is 20 bottles


  1. Wishing you a very happy new year :)

  2. Hope you had a marvelous new years daaaaaahling! Hope 2010 proves a great vintage ;)
    *kisses* HH


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