2017-06-30
Champagne by the glass

Words & PIx: Henry Yuen

Celebrations? Marking special occasions? Crack open a bottle of Champagne! This hard-to-resist wine has long been the symbol of jubilation - birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations and special holidays - the most revered cheer of all times.

Why Champagne? For its exclusivity. Only bubbles produced in the region of Champagne, France can be called Champagne. For its supreme quality. The world adores the prestige, its preciousness and the pleasure of owning and enjoying good Champagnes. As with most luxurious products, Champagnes are much sought after and thus can command high prices. The more expensive and rarer it is, the more revered it becomes. Yet, exclusivity and supreme symbol alone are not enough to elevate Champagne to its iconic status, especially when it helps glorify special moments and celebrative cheers. Starting from the terroir, it is ancient and unique. Champagne locates in what was a large body of water millions of years ago called the Paris Basin. Blessed with rich mineral and seashore elements, the soil is chalky with limestone. The vines, reaching deep into the ground, imparts the complex flavours of shellfish and minerality into the juice. Being in northern France in a cooler region, the grapes take a longer time to ripe and allows juicyness, bright acidity and pleasing freshness, injecting layers and characters into the golden liquid.  Adding to this is the mastering of secondary fermentation process that captures bubbles filled with rhythms and explosions right inside the bottle. Such exceptional effervescence in Champagne is the what none other in any part of the world can ever come close.  From a pure drinking perspective, Champagne is delightful and elating, while at the same time, so food-friendly and drinkable. All these cemented Champagne's outstanding fame and popularity in every corner of the earth.


Yet, exclusivity and supreme symbol alone are not enough to elevate Champagne to its iconic status, especially when it helps glorify special moments and celebrative cheers. Starting from the terroir, it is ancient and unique. Champagne locates in what was a large body of water millions of years ago called the Paris Basin. Blessed with rich mineral and seashore elements, the soil is chalky with limestone. The vines, reaching deep into the ground, imparts the complex flavours of shellfish and minerality into the juice. Being in northern France in a cooler region, the grapes take a longer time to ripe and allows juiciness, bright acidity and pleasing freshness, injecting layers and characters into the golden liquid.  Adding to this is the mastering of secondary fermentation process that captures bubbles filled with rhythms and explosions right inside the bottle. Such exceptional effervescence in Champagne is the what none other in any part of the world can ever come close.  From a pure drinking perspective, Champagne is delightful and elating, while at the same time, so food-friendly and drinkable. All these cemented Champagne's outstanding fame and popularity in every corner of the earth.

The "celebrate with champagne" tradition, said to have started around the 18th century in the regal courts in Europe where royals and aristocratic families poured luxurious drinks as a status symbol to show off their wealth and power. During the Napoleon War between France and other European countries, battles were waged. Around the area of Champagne, winners of the wages exclaimed by pouring expensive Champagnes, making Champagne notorious amongst European countries. Stories of how Russian troops guzzled Champagnes while ravaging Champagne houses were also told and even credited for creating the opportunity to market into foreign lands. The fact that gifting, drinking and collecting Champagne has since been a widespread global notion may be perhaps the best evidence of such marketing opportunity.  From a simple toast to a happy birthday or to the newly weds, raising chutes to welcome the new year; to smashing a bottle of Champagne for the maiden voyage of a new ship, Champagne does play a rather important commemorative role.

Photo caption

But wait a minute, there's no rule saying that we should limit ourselves to enjoying champagne only to celebrate! Who do we have to answer to when we crack open a bottle simply because we are in the mood for Champagne? Yes, Champagne is not cheap but do not forget that it truly is in a league of its own. Besides, how does one measure palate pleasure and having a splendid time? Those who sipped a really sensationally great Champagne recently may still be licking their lips as we speak. Nevertheless, there are folks who desire not or won't be able to finish the bottle once opened; and to the others who do not necessarily know what and how to choose from the Champagne list, there is good news. "Champagne by the Glass" is available at The Wine Bar at the Provence Marinaside! From a selection of 14 Champagne by the glass they offer, you can taste and compare different styles of Champagne, grasp and capitalize the Champagne mood when it strikes without having to break the bank.  After all, Champagne tasting events don’t come up very often locally.


At The Wine Bar, Champagnes are kept fresh using the Le Verre de Vin dispensing machine with a full-swing preservation system to preserve the right amount of pressure and capturing crisp. The bubbles, the fresh aroma, the flavour complexity stay the same as if the bottle is just opened. Fancy a glass of Dom Perignon or a Louis Roederer Cristal? Here is your chance to be in this west-coast picture-perfect summer scenario:  Leisurely taking in the creekside view while sipping a glass of Champagne under the sun sitting down at The Wine Bar's patio, nibbling a charcuterie plate!

           




FOLLOW US