You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Why you should drink Champagne throughout the year, not just at New Year’s


That Champagne toast you had at midnight on New Year’s Eve is fine. In fact, it’s great. I have had some memorable midnight toasts through the years. I’m sure you have too. But I’m also sure that I’ve had better ones at other times of the year. If you haven’t, I would recommend exploring that possibility in 2017.

Fizzy wine on Dec. 31 is like chocolates on Feb. 14, flags on July 4 and pumpkins on Oct. 31. It’s hard to imagine one without the other. But while I’ll probably never stump for all-year pumpkin displaying, I’m urging you to drink Champagne or other sparkling wine regularly, throughout the year, and not just when someone plants it in front of you at a wedding or graduation party. Make bubbles as much a part of your life as still wine is.

Sure, bubbly is celebratory, but why can’t you celebrate your life when it’s Wednesday at 6:42 p.m. in April? Why can’t you celebrate being alive on the day before Thursday? Even if you’re not celebrating, a nice, dry sparkling wine’s yeasty-bready goodness just plain tastes swell. It feels good in your mouth, too, and that’s worth something. There’s no reason not to have a bottle of bubbles on hand at all times. Two hours in the fridge, and it’s ready to drink — maybe on a Sunday afternoon when you have an Alison Brie marathon lined up on Netflix. For example.

You are depriving yourself of one of wine-drinking’s greatest pleasures if you put bubbles in that tiny December/January corner. Even if your sparkling season goes from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, you’re missing out. Besides being a great aperitif — possibly the best aperitif we have — sparkling wine is also good with just about every kind of food, from hors d’oeuvres to dessert. In Champagne especially (referring to sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France), high acidity makes this so. But bright acidity is not limited to Champagne, and all sparkling wine has those mouth-cleansing bubbles to scrub your palate clean no matter how mouth-coating the food you’re eating is. Plus sparkling wine is meant to be served well-chilled, which makes it even more refreshing. Name a drawback to sparkling wine, because I’m trying to come up with one, and I can’t.

We can acknowledge that Champagne is the top of the heap, the product of one of the world’s most revered wine regions, and because of this, some of it can be pricey. (OK, there’s the drawback.) The bright side is, it’s a great big world out there, and bubbles get bottled everywhere. If you can’t find Champagne within your budget, there’s also cremant from other parts of France. There’s cava from Spain. Prosecco and Franciacorta from Italy. Fizz from England. Sparkling wine from California.

These sparkling wines often aren’t made in the style of Champagne, where secondary fermentation in the bottle is what creates the bubbles … but it’s all wine with bubbles, and to me that’s 55 percent of the appeal.

Do you prefer lively, individually assertive, bordering-on-aggressive bubbles that imitate Pop Rocks, or do you like softer bubbles with less ego — ones that work together to create a creamy mousse reminiscent of sea foam rolling gently into shore? Big bubbles, little bubbles? Fuller-bodied, lighter-bodied? There are lots of styles to explore, and few things in wine exploration are as satisfying as figuring out what you like and don’t like.

If someone comes up with wine that gives me a neck massage while I’m drinking it and I have to choose between that wine and bubbles, I’ll abandon bubbles forever. Until then, I’m drinking sparkling wine January through December, and I encourage you to do the same. The wedding toasts and “Auld Lang Synes” that we encounter along the way will be as welcome as always, but now they’ll just be a part of the way we live, lifted by the effervescent splendor of wine that moves before our eyes, urging us to take notice and emote accordingly.

Here’s your strategy. Track down some brut, or brut rose, so you can put to rest once and for all that sparkling wine is too sweet (which is like saying movies are too violent). Get a Sharpie and a wall calendar. Remind yourself on said calendar to drink bubbles on a few select dates for a couple of months in a row. Start off a meal with a glass of bubbles. Have a glass at home before you head out for a night of whatever it is you do. Split a bottle with a friend through an entire meal. Taste two bottles side-by-side.

Just drink some good, dry sparkling wine a few times a month for two months, and if you still don’t want to bring bubbly into your life in a more committed way — meaning that you don’t exile it to year-end holiday season parties only — then you are off the hook. You are probably a lost cause as far as sparkling love goes. But if you have a few bubbly sessions and find that you can’t go on without having it all of the time (within reason), you don’t even have to thank me. Though, you could mention me in a toast. Nothing wrong with that.

Check back soon to find out if you’re using the right glassware for your bubbly. You might be surprised.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

This week’s music picks: Tull tales with Ian, Allstars with Dickinsons and more

[youtube=] Wednesday: Jethro Tull at ACL Live. Technically these shows are billed as “Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson,” an odd specification given that Jethro Tull, by any other name than Ian Anderson, would most assuredly not be Jethro Tull. Technically, the band called it quits five years ago, and longtime members Martin Barre and Doane Perry...
Gal Gadot, Lynda Carter meet at ‘Wonder Woman’ premiere
Gal Gadot, Lynda Carter meet at ‘Wonder Woman’ premiere

Two are more wonderful than one. Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter met, embraced and posed for photographs at Thursday’s premiere of “Wonder Woman” in Hollywood, ETOnline reported. >> Read more trending news Carter, 65, made the Wonder Woman character famous during its television series run from 1975 to 1979. Gadot is starring...
You can make the best doughnuts you'll ever eat. Here's how.
You can make the best doughnuts you'll ever eat. Here's how.

It's easy to wax poetic about doughnuts. Whether they're light as air and melt in your mouth or caky and sugarcoated, ready to dunk, who can pass up a fresh one? The best are made by hand with wholesome ingredients. Even the ones that start with a mix - and those include your Krispy Kremes and Dunkin' Donuts - still taste pretty good, to be honest...
Jet owned by Elvis fetches $430,000 at auction
Jet owned by Elvis fetches $430,000 at auction

A red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar private jet once owned by Elvis Presley sold for $430,000 at a California auction featuring celebrity memorabilia on Saturday. >> Read more trending news The plane had been sitting on a New Mexico tarmac for 35 years before it was consigned for sale, GWS Auctions said. It was owned by Presley and his father, Vernon...
Follow the adventures of Dallas ‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay
Follow the adventures of Dallas ‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay

Welcome to another season of the beautiful disaster known as the “Bachelor” franchise. This “Bachelorette” season’s star, Dallas native and University of Texas graduate Rachel Lindsay, met her 31 suitors last week in an episode that was filled with — you guessed it — drama. Let me just start by saying that...
More Stories