Nothing says celebrate and party time like a good bottle of champagne. It' makes the dullest parties pop. The crisp tastes adds extra flavor to any party food and make sit special. Everyone should have a bottle at the ready during these happy holidays.
Champagne first came about in the mid 1600's a result of a container mishap. It seemed that a second fermentation happened to a type of wine known as vin gris or grey wine. Bubbles appeared and a kind of fizz occurred. Noblemen and wealthy French men fell for this new kind of wine and thus began France's love of champagne. We also have two abbes , the famed Dom Perignon and the lesser known, Frere Jean Oudart who created the first mass production of champagne (named for the region) in their respective monasteries. Two centuries later in 1836, there was a treatise published and research done on how sparkling wine got to be just that. It deals with the amount of extra sugar added or left over. This produces CO2 which is responsible for giving champagne its' sparkle.
Now every winery has their own champagne. What's the best. In my opinion Asti Spumante from Piedmonte (of course I'm prejudiced here.) is the finest. It's light, sweet and doesn't have some of the slightly bitter after taste that other champagnes possess. (another factoid - only sparkling wines produced solely in the Champagne region of France can be classified as champagne. All others have to be called sparkling wines).Asti is the perfect with hors d'ouevres as well as with cakes. There are others such as Freixinet from Spain that are also very good but in a dry white wine kind of way.
This season , remember to be well stocked up on your bottles of bubbly. Buy whatever you like , open a few bottles and toast a fantastic gift or a year well done.