When to Drink Champagne

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"He's always quite grumpy before his first glass of champagne." -- Mrs. Emma Peel

Recently I noticed a bottle of champagne on a friend's wine rack, and upon examination found it to be a dusty old bottle of Perrier-Jouët, a very fine champagne and one that I've enjoyed several times in the past. This one was old, though, and was not exactly stored in a cellar, but in a room with a fireplace, up near the ceiling on a tall wine rack. According to our best guess, it had been up there for perhaps a decade. While the Wine Doctor will perhaps tell you that it's a good idea to cellar certain non-vintage champagnes, I am certain that this is not the sort of storage he had in mind. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, I demanded that we chill the champagne as soon as possible and drink it, before any other damage could be done.

It was too late.

While barely drinkable, the wine had a distinct hint of apple cider. Very acidic, very disappointing, and in fact we couldn't finish the bottle. It was a sad, sad day. No man of leisure should ever have to open a bottle of champagne that he can't consume.

When I came home, I eyed the bottle of Moët & Chandon White Star in my wine rack and sighed longingly. What could I do to make sure no other bottles of champagne succumbed to such a perilous fate? First, I had to save my own bottle, so I seized upon the next excuse to open a bottle of fine wine in celebration, and drank it. My task was not yet done, however, which is why I am bringing a very important message to you today. Please read carefully.

No celebration is too mundane, too small, or too unimportant for champagne. However, I'd argue that the more important the celebration, the better the champagne should be. Thank you for your time!

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David Malki over at Wondermark recently delved into what he calls the "Oenophile's Quandry".  When is an occasion special enough to merit that special bottle of wine?  It's a common problem facing those with collections of tasty bev... Read More

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