Speaking of wine, some lessons learned from last week’s FIAF wine tasting: Champagne vs. Sparkling Wine

Open a bottle of champagne really cold — it makes the pressure less and makes it safer to open then let it sit a bit to release aromas.

There are 90lbs of pressure inside a champagne bottle, like a loaded gun. So be careful.



On champagne glasses — flutes are tall & narrow to keep bubbles in the glass; a tulip with wider bowl enhances the aroma.

Secret sommelier trick — scratch inside bottom of the glass with a diamond tipped pen to break the surface tension and create a stream of bubbles.

Vintage wine needs to be aged for 36 months. Aging the wine with the dead yeast cells impart a creaminess to the wine. There is a brioche creamy yeastiness that you get from aging champagne in the bottle.
Prosecco is not meant to be aged; should be fruit forward and vibrant.
The 3 main grapes in the Champagne region are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, & Pinot Meunier.

Cheese and pâtés pair brilliantly with bubbly.


Q: Should you swirl champagne like you do wine? A:There is no set rule — a swirl is like a mini-decantation.

"If I could drink anything, everyday, for the rest of my life, it would be champagne." — Alex Pratt

FIAF Wine Tour de France 2012: Battle of the Bubbles

Related and previously

Speaking of wine, some lessons learned from last week’s FIAF wine tasting: Champagne vs. Sparkling Wine

  • Open a bottle of champagne really cold — it makes the pressure less and makes it safer to open then let it sit a bit to release aromas.

  • There are 90lbs of pressure inside a champagne bottle, like a loaded gun. So be careful.

  • On champagne glasses — flutes are tall & narrow to keep bubbles in the glass; a tulip with wider bowl enhances the aroma.

  • Secret sommelier trick — scratch inside bottom of the glass with a diamond tipped pen to break the surface tension and create a stream of bubbles.

  • Vintage wine needs to be aged for 36 months. Aging the wine with the dead yeast cells impart a creaminess to the wine. There is a brioche creamy yeastiness that you get from aging champagne in the bottle.
  • Prosecco is not meant to be aged; should be fruit forward and vibrant.
  • The 3 main grapes in the Champagne region are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, & Pinot Meunier.

  • Cheese and pâtés pair brilliantly with bubbly.

Q: Should you swirl champagne like you do wine? A:There is no set rule — a swirl is like a mini-decantation.

"If I could drink anything, everyday, for the rest of my life, it would be champagne." — Alex Pratt

FIAF Wine Tour de France 2012: Battle of the Bubbles

Related and previously

Paris / New York: Crisscross Views

This French Institute Alliance Française exhibit exposes New Yorkers to different visual perspectives by juxtaposing photos by Americans who have worked in Paris with those of their French contemporaries who have worked in New York. Celebrated photographers that will be represented include Duane Michals, Bruce Davidson, and Ralph Gibson on the American side, and Raymond Depardon, Jeanloup Sieff, and Bernard Pierre Wolff on the French. 

(thru Jan.29)

Paris / New York: Crisscross Views

This French Institute Alliance Française exhibit exposes New Yorkers to different visual perspectives by juxtaposing photos by Americans who have worked in Paris with those of their French contemporaries who have worked in New York. Celebrated photographers that will be represented include Duane Michals, Bruce Davidson, and Ralph Gibson on the American side, and Raymond Depardon, Jeanloup Sieff, and Bernard Pierre Wolff on the French.

(thru Jan.29)