Popping the Question, Popping the Champagne
Most times my posts are directed toward the bride but this time it might be a little different – and while I do realize that these days, it’s ok for the lady to propose marriage, it’s still far more common that a gentleman would be the one to propose to the special someone in his life. With the holidays approaching, it’s often that couples become engaged during this season. And what better way to celebrate engagement than with a bottle of Champagne?
Whether you’re out to dinner and you’d like to reserve a special bottle in advance, or you’re proposing on a quiet evening – just you and that special person in your life – you probably want to have that bottle selected, chilled, and ready. There’s something special and festive about the bubbles in a sparkling wine, and it’s certainly alright to opt for a bottle of sparkling wine other than Champagne – there are many to choose from, including sparkling wines from California by reputable producers, as well as Cava from Spain, Prosecco from Italy, Sekt from Germany, and so many other sparkling wines from around the world. But there isn’t anything quite like Champagne, and for one of the happiest and most important moments in your life – the moment you ask that special someone to marry you – you may just want to go that extra mile and choose a true Champagne.
Non-vintage Champagnes are generally excellent and many reputable Champagnes are widely available, including Veuve Clicquot, Moet & Chandon, Roederer, Piper Heidsieck, and so many others. For an over-the-top celebratory bottle, go with a vintage Champagne. Yes, they can be on the pricey side, but a special event such as the moment you get engaged might be the best chance to celebrate over an extraordinary bottle.
To maximize enjoyment of your celebratory bottle, you’ve got to make sure it’s properly chilled and served. If you’re ordering in a restaurant, then chances are, the Champagne will
already be chilled and the proper glasses will be available. However, if you’re in the confines of your own home or a similar place, be sure to plan ahead. Champagne should be served chilled, at approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and the bottle should be chilled for a few hours in the refrigerator (never in the freezer), or in an ice bucket for about 30 minutes to an
hour. This will allow you to enjoy the wine’s flavors, aromas, and texture properly. Also, it’s best to serve Champagne in toasting flutes, to maintain the bubbly texture. Serving in flutes is not imperative but it is highly recommended. And if you don’t have an ice bucket or toasting flutes, remember to add them to your bridal registry!
The moment you propose should be a memory you will want to treasure forever, so it’s important to make sure it goes smoothly, and it’s also important to celebrate the moment. And
when you’re done popping the question, you’ll probably want to pop the Champagne next – you deserve it!
Jacqueline Malenda is a member of the Guild of Sommeliers, and a wine consultant and wine blogger based on Long Island, NY. Her research is primarily in the area of wine pairing. She is available for wine consulting, writing and guest blogging about everything wine!