Champagne Tips from
Morton's The Steakhouse and Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Sparkling Wine.
is a light, sparkling wine first produced by accident in the Champagne
region of France
about 400 years ago.The single
French district, which is barely equivalent to the City of Las Vegas,
supplies the whole world with choice of celebratory drink, with well known
labels such as Cristal, Taittinger, Dom Perignon.
Fourteen centuries later, the English did some early bottling of the
French drink and inadvertently created sparkles.French cellar masters perfected the process with more sugar and yeast,
signature blending, bubble-sparing sediment removal, and burst-proof bottles.Monk Dom Perignon, upon tasting the results reportedly cried out, "Come
quickly, I'm drinking stars."
bubbly continues to be the wine of choice to celebrate so many of life's special
occasions.Morton's The Steakhouse
has a few helpful hints when it comes to champagne.
guests visit Morton's to celebrate many special occasions throughout the year,
said Mark Amir, Assistant Manager of Morton's The Steakhouse in Las Vegas.?When it comes to celebrating, many guests toast with one of our numerous
champagne shouldn't be intimidating, and that's why we wanted to provide hints
on what to order and clear up some misconceptions about champagne.Amir, who has completed the Court of the Master Sommeliers Level One
Certification, is studying to become a Master Sommelier.
There's a misconception that good champagne must be expensive and from France.That's not the case while the regional term Champagne
describes a certain area in France,
in no way does it define the quality of the wine.All sparkling wines use the same grape varieties and identical
producers who start with good grapes and are committed to making great wine are
on the same playing field.
Sparkling wines, including the more expensive, well-known French producers, as
well as the lesser expensive sparklers from the rest of the world, are of good
to great quality.Most sparkling
wines are surprisingly affordable to their counterparts in France.
SPARKLING WINE IS MADE IN FOUR DISTINCT STYLES:
Extra Dry (Medium Dry)
Sec (Slightly Sweet)
Dem Sec (Sweet)
represents about 80-percent of all good quality sparkling wine.It's the truest expression of the wine because it contains the least
'dosage' (a small amount of sugar juice that's added to champagne to balance
acidity after fermentation).The
sweeter the style, the more 'dosage.'
AND SPARKLING WINE
general, a bottle of Champagne
that lists a vintage will be more expensive than one that does not.Every year, winemakers decide if their newest wine is worthy of vintage
dating.Only the best years of
production receive this distinction and the vintage is declared.This is the winery's way of promoting its very best product and usually
has only one brand as its vintage Champagne.For example, Moet Chandon makes Dom Perignon, which is its vintage
offering, and 'White Star,' which is its non-vintage offering.
are years when no vintage sparkling wine is produced.While 80-percent of all wine purchased is non-vintage, these wines are
made using the same method and styles and are also very good.
and sparkling wines are subject to distinctly different flavor profiles
depending on the house style, dosage, grape quality and vinification
should you expect to pay when you're looking for a sparkling wine to complement
your meal or celebrate a special occasion?Most bottles of vintage Champagne
are priced at $100 or more in wine shops.However, there are a few truly great domestic vintage sparkling wines
that can be found for half that price.
bet:Ask your local wine merchant
for recommendations based on your expectations and budget.
essential component to complete the Champagne/sparkling wine experience is the
expectation that you're about to enjoy one of life's great pleasures.When you break out a bottle, it tells your guests you consider them to be
special.When the bottle is opened,
the soft 'pop' enhances the anticipation.As you and your guests enjoy the wine, the effervescence and flavors are
delightful reminders that life's special moments are meant to be savored.
SHOULD BE SERVED CHILLED, BUT NOT ICED AND NEVER SERVED AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
you pour Champagne,
the bottle should have been chilled to about 45 to 49 degrees Fahrenheit.Serving the wine in this temperature range enhances both taste and
your wine by filling a Champagne
bucket half-way with water and ice cubes and immersing the bottle for about 30
minutes.If you don't have a Champagne
bucket handy, place a room-temperature bottle in the coldest part of your
refrigerator for an hour or two, but don't leave Champagne
in a refrigerator for an extended period.
chill a bottle in the freezer.If
you forget it's there, you'll have a nasty surprise when you find it's exploded.And, a messy clean-up job is nothing to celebrate.
other wines may improve with age, Champagne
is actually ready for drinking when you purchase it and will not be improved by
aging.However, you can safely
store bottles for long periods under proper conditions in a cool place,
shielded from natural light.Avoid
extreme changes in temperature.
is best served in long-stemmed flutes or tulip-shaped glasses.These narrow glasses are ideally suited to concentrate the wine's aroma
and enable you to better observe and admire Champagne's
distinctive bubbles and sparkle.
Unlike the bottle, the glasses shouldn't be chilled.
OPENING THE BOTTLE
there may be 70 pounds of pressure behind the Champagne
cork ready to turn it into a missile, the bottle should be opened with both care
and style.Hold the bottle with the
cork in the palm of your hand, at a 45-degree angle, away from you and anyone in
your vicinity.Loosen the wire
around the cork carefully, and gently ease the cork out, holding your fingers
over it.Be sure to have a glass
ready.A loud 'pop!' may be
traditional, but popping wastes bubbles, so gentle removal, accompanied by a
'whoosh' not 'pop' is best.
SAVORING AND SAVING THE CHAMPAGNE
half the glass.Take a moment to
admire the color and the bubbles.
Inhale the bouquet, now taste the wine.Keep it in your mouth for several seconds so you can discern its
There's no need to consume the entire bottle after it's been opened.Capping the bottle with a pressure-withstanding stopper will enable you
to enjoy the rest of the wine two or even three days later.One bottle serves ten toasting guests, three
to four reception guests, and two to three dinner guests.
you to Morton's the Steakhouse for all of the tips and information.To try variety of Champagnes
and great cocktails, visit Morton's the Steakhouse.Morton's is open for dinner from
Monday through Saturday, and
Morton's the Steakhouse
400 East Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Another idea is Spanish sparkling wine, also known as cava.Produced in the same high-quality production method used for French
sparkling wine, Segura Viudas (pronounced "seh-GOO-rah vee-YOO-dahs?) Reserva
Heredad is a premium bubbly that is as affordable as it is luxurious.With its stately packaging, it is priced around $20 for a 750 ml bottle
and $40 for the 1.5 liter magnum.
Considered one of the world's premier cavas and made from estate-grown Macabeo
and Parellada grapes, Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad has an indulgent
effervescence and comes in a unique hand-blown bottle emblazoned with a pewter
Segura Viudas family crest.The
finishing touch to this statuesque green glass beauty is the engraved
grape-motif pewter pedestal upon which the bottle rests -- a noble presentation
for a legendary wine.
The crown jewel of the Segura Viudas winery, located southeast of Barcelona,
the Reserva Heredad wine is available in finer wine stores with its signature
silver and green box. To find a retailer, call 1-888-706-2229.
Here's a toast to you from Debbie Hall and Celebrity Chef Connection.