Whether it is Fathers’ Day, his birthday, anniversary, job achievement or other special occasion, or you just want to treat your dad to something special to show how much you love him, it can be difficult to decide how best to celebrate a dad’s milestone or achievements.
Well despite being the regular tipple of the ultimate man’s man, James Bond, champagne is often overlooked in favor of beer or spirits when considering what a man likes to drink.
Well that is a real shame, because you will be pleasantly surprised how many dads will enjoy a taste of the luxury that a decent bottle of champagne presents, especially on a special occasion. Don’t let the stereotype of champagne being a drink for refined older ladies hold you back!
So let’s take a look at how you can treat the dad in your life to a special champagne celebration.
Isn’t “Champagne” Just ‘Sparking Wine”?
In short, ‘the answer is “No”! You have probably seen various brands of bubbly sparkling wine in your local supermarket which are in bottles which look similar to champagne, may even have the word champagne, and even have corks that pop just like champagne bottles! However, but don’t let the bubbles fool you, because genuine Champagne wine comes from and is named after the Champagne region in northern France, and has to be bottled within 100 miles of this region just north of Paris.
On a genuine champagne bottle you will see a reference to “Appellation d'origine controlee” (AOC) or words similar to that, which refers to the France and the European Union’s strict rules that regulate the particular local grapes, fermentation, vineyard processes and carbonation that must be complied with in order to lawfully label the product as “Champagne".
Because this is such a relatively small region, wine production land there is among the most expensive in the entire world. An acre of established vineyard in the Champagne region would cost around £500,000 – compare that with an acre in Napa Valley, USA which costs up to $140,000 per acre!
So you can imagine this makes Champagne way more expensive than sparkling wine!
What Makes Champagne So Special?
The Champagne region of France has a lengthy history of wine production all the way back to ancient Rome, and some the finest champagne houses can trace their roots back to the late 1700s or earlier.
As you probably know, traditionally champagne has become the ultimate luxury celebration beverage across the world. This became de rigeur amongst French royalty dating as far back as Louis XIV (1638-1715), the “Sun King” , who apparently drunk little else, and his love of Champagne and the association with royalty and wealth trickled down to the middle classes.
A couple of centuries later, by the mid-1800s, and the drink had become a staple part of court life for the French Royals and their friends (during a ball held by Madame de Pompadour at Paris’s Hôtel de Ville, guests consumed an excess of 1,800 bottles in one night!).
In the late 1800s, the top producers like Möet et Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Taittinger began investing large sums of money into massive advertising campaigns to would position champagne the wine as the ultimate go-to celebratory drink.
How To Make Dad Feel Like A King
So now you know why champagne is so special choose a quality bottle of champagne, such as those which you can find in the Oddbins range of champagne, to treat the special dad in your life.
Even when you have purchased your bottle of champagne, it is easy to make mistakes when you serve it. So here are some quick do’s-and- don’ts, useful serving tips for you to follow that will make sure that your dad really has the best champagne experience.
1. Champagne corks. These can be dangerous (exiting the bottle at up to 55 mph when opened), so point that bottle, when opening, away from you towards a safe place, ideally where no one else is at 45 degrees, and use a cloth napkin and your hand and thumb over the cork to open it, which will give you control
2. Glasses. Use extra clean tulip shaped flutes or glasses to serve your dad’s champagne. There is a science to it – the tulip glass shape does improve the delivery of aroma and smell to the rectors in our nose and mouth!
3.Temperature. Don’t serve the champagne too cold. Aim for around 45 degrees. A useful tip is not to store champagne in the fridge for too long before service, because this can cause the cork to dry out, loosening the seal on the bottle and causing oxidation. Your precious champagne may lose its aroma and might even absorb odors from other food in your fridge.
4. Pouring. It can be challenging to pour champagne quickly because the bubble froth up so rapidly. Opinions vary as to whether to tilt the glass, but try to pour the wine against the side surfaces of the glass to help bubbles to dissipate.
5. Amount. Only fill the glass about half way (maybe 10cl) as this will help keep it cold throughout the glass - and then you can refill it more often to keep the drinking temperature more consistent (who would argue with that…!)
Life is for living! It is important to seize the moments you have and spend them happily with someone you love. So enjoy the special mystique of champagne, has been, go ahead and to celebrate the dad in your life with champagne to make him feel like a king!