Stop associating sparkling wine with celebrations. Just stop.
In the same way that diamond sellers completely made up rules about buying diamond engagement rings, champagne sellers worked diligently for the last 100 years to associate champagne with the rich, famous, elite, and of course their celebrations. Sparkling wine (including those from the Champagne region), like any delicious wine, should be drunk whenever the hell you feel like it. Here are a bunch of hints and tips to convince you why sparkling wine is completely and unabashedly wicked awesome:
1. You probably love brunch. Sparkling wine kills with food, especially the heavier kinds that make an appearance at brunch.
2. Intimidated by all the faux fanciness surrounding sparklers? No need get fussy about it, I promise it’s still just booze. You don’t need Champagne flutes, a special pourer, or an ice bucket. Just treat it like an everyday alcohol-heavy beer and you’ll be fine.
3. If you’re at home, you can saber the bottle! If you don’t know what that is, YouTube it and thank me later.
4. Champagne is great when someone else is buying or you feel like spending. But Cava from Spain, Prosecco from Italy, or even bubbly from California is roughly the same price as a normal glass or bottle. It doesn’t have to cost more!
5. Sparkling rosé! Are you kidding me? (Do you even pair, bro?) Rosé with bubbles can stand up to the flavors of pretty much anything you throw at it. If you’re looking for some next-level shiz, try grilled asparagus and steak, I kid you not. Cabernet can’t hold a candle.
6. Sparkling wine comes in every possible sweetness level. If you had a Brut and it was too dry, look for something with a bit less alcohol – it will usually be a touch sweeter. If you had moscato and thought it was like liquid candy, try a Prosecco or anything labeled “extra-dry” to see if that’s more to your taste.
7. When at a restaurant, sparkling wines often come in smaller bottles or even single-serving containers to ensure no fizz is lost. This makes ordering them often a safer choice in terms of quality and consistency.
8. The rabbit hole for details about sparkling wines is more or less bottomless – but at the same time you don’t *need* to know a dang thing in order to enjoy them. More so than still wines, the nerdy questions you can ask about sparklers is a mile long: PSI, disgorgement, method of fermentation, level of dosage, vintage blending, etc. But much like Breaking Bad, you can also just enjoy it on a sensory level and not worry about what it all means.
9. The sound of popping a cork still turns heads. Come on, that’s fun as hell.
10. If you want to buy actual Champagne from Champagne, France, there’s never been a better time when it comes to quality, availability, selection, and price. The best big-name brands are better than ever and the small, family-owned wineries are plain killing it. Just remember to invite me over before you pop a Billecart-Salmon or a Vilmart if we’re friends.