Champagne in Florence: French gold, Italian passion

Champagne in Florence: French gold, Italian passion

Champagne in Florence: French gold, Italian passion

17/04/2015

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Champagne: The liquid gold of France According to Tom Stevenson, in Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopaedia, the very first record about Champagne is in 1531. Or, better: the very first record about sparkling wine. Monks are supposed to be the creators of whiskey, and here they are again: the Benedictine Monks of Saint-Hilaire, Carcassonne... Believe it or not, the very first scientific record of what will be later named méthode champenoise is not French, but English! It is 1662 when Christopher Merret, an English scientist from Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, presents a document to the Royal Society about the addition of sugar to a wine to create a second fermentation. The Champagne was born, but maybe the English were too keen on beer to develop it... ;-) Ideas, like bubbles, are in the air, and it is of course in France that the sparkling wine from the Champagne region will become a status symbol... But: what Champagne is? There is a strict set of regulations defining what Champagne is: place, of course; choice of grapes, viticulture... If  a wine meets al the requirements then it can be labelled Champagne. At the starting point the Champagne is "just wine", but after the first fermentation and bottling, there is for it a second alcoholic fermentation in the bottle. Then it comes the aging: 1 year and half (three years for the millésime). After the aging, the remuage (riddling) make the lees settle in the neck of the bottle. The neck of the bottle is frozen, the pressure in the bottle expels the ice with lees and the bottle is corked: your Champagne is ready! Champagne with an Italian twist... While some Pinot from Italy are just as great wines as the French Champagne, pop in at the Enoteca Alessi in Florence can give you the opportunity to use our expertise to match Champagne (or Pinot as well) with some gorgeous food from Tuscany. An example? Craft cheese from the Appennini mountains and a sparkling, bubbly glass...