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Henri of Henri's Reserve
 
July 23, 2014 | Henri of Henri's Reserve

Creating Exquisite Champagne

How Champagne is madeMon Ami, I thought you would enjoy some education from one of my favorite winemakers. For you… how Champagne is made.

Step 1: Selecting the Cuvée

The vin de Cuvée is the first pressing of grapes. Grapes are pressed quickly after the harvest and used for the base wine that will become Champagne. Cuvées can be from many varieties, such as Chardonnay, or perhaps a mixture of several varieties of grapes (Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay are official grapes of Champagne). Once pressed, the grapes are given time to settle and cool in a process called Débourbage. Any pesky solid material is raked away before the first fermentation.

Step 2: The First Fermentation

The clear juice is kept cool for three to ten days during the first fermentation. During this time, yeasts are used. The grower may add sugar to the mixture to raise the alcohol content of the wine.

Step 3: Assemblage

Assemblage is the French art of blending wines to create the intended flavor profile. This is the core process of all fine Champagne. Not only are wines blended from different types, but also different vintages.

Step 4: Tirage

Next, the Liqueur de Tirage is added to the bottle: a combination of sugar, yeast and yeast nutrients. The liquid is sealed with a bottle cap inside a Champagne bottle. The bottle is kept on its side in a cool cellar and allowed to slowly ferment. This process could last for months and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Step 5: Aging 

Throughout the fermentation, yeast cells die. After several months the process is complete, but the Champagne is given time to age, often for several years. During this period, the yeast cells split open and release their divine flavors to the liquid. Vintage Champagnes are aged for 7 years, non-vintage for 2-3.

Step 6: Riddling

In a process called Le Rémouage, or Riddling, the bottle is slowly and carefully turned several times per day and tilted at increasing angles until the bottles are upside down. This ushers all the yeast sediment to toward the cap where they are subsequently removed.

Step 7: Disgorging

The bottles are placed upside down, neck deep and frozen in an ice-salt bath. This freezes the yeast sediment and the first inch or so of Champagne. When the cap is removed, the pressure of the gas in the bottle forces out the sediment, leaving behind Champagne.

Step 8: The Dosage

The Liqueur d’Expédition, otherwise known as the Dosage, is a mixture of the wine makers choice (sometimes white wine, brandy and/or and sugar), that determines the sweetness of the Champagne.

Step 9: Corking

The bottle is corked and wired to secure the high internal pressure within the bottle. The last three steps (Disgorging, the Dosage, and Corking) all take place at the same time to ensure consistency and quality.

Merci, oh wonderful winemaker. Now mes amis – over to you to enjoy!

buy champagneWritten by Henri of Henri's Reserve

Henri’s Reserve is an e-boutique devoted to champagne lovers. We are a gateway to the seductive world of Family Estate bubblies; a place to sit back and indulge in the joie de champagne. Henri’s Reserve offers exceptional grower champagnes with true depth and subtlety—original tastes you won’t find anywhere else. Our collection consists of handcrafted, estate-bottled champagnes produced by houses that ship often less than 5,000 cases a year and produce vastly fewer of their cuvée spéciales. 

Quality and exclusivity is what you experience with Henri’s Reserve. Be the “I want to go to their house” host. Don’t serve the same-old-same-old. Help your friends discover the world of Family Estate Champagnes and be the joy delivering gift-giver. Henri’s Reserve opens the world of Champagnes to you with a Champagne Club - receive magnificent bottles of champagne every month with “Henri’s Club.”

Learn more at www.henrisreserve.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Henri's Reserve? Send your topic idea to pr@henrisreserve.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Henri's Reserve makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Time Posted: Jul 23, 2014 at 9:48 AM
Henri of Henri's Reserve
 
July 14, 2014 | Henri of Henri's Reserve

6 Creative Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day

how to celebrate Bastille DayEvery July 14, Paris celebrate La Fête de la Bastille (or La Fête Nationale). In the States, we call it Bastille Day. The people of France stormed a fortress called the Bastille in 1789, demanding the release of political prisoners and igniting the French Revolution. The prison’s destruction is a symbol of the French people’s desire to break the chains of monarchy and instill a democracy.

The French are a fiercely patriotic people, so it’s not surprise that the commemoration of their independence is a big to-do.

Not everyone can zip over to France, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate in your own home. Here are ways to celebrate Bastille Day.

1. Dance the night away.

The Bal du 14 Juillet is an annual dance party that’s traditionally held at the Place d la Bastille – the site of the old fortress. The dance party is held on the night of the 13th so guests can party into the holiday. Each year a different theme is chosen with costumes and live music. You can replicate this experience by hosting a costume ball or masquerade. Choose a clever theme like exotic creatures or 1950s movies.

2. Indulge in a French treat.

When you think of France, what treats come to mind? Macaroons, colorful meringue cookies filled with buttercream, ganache or jam, and buttery pastries. In some regions of France it is customary to have a picnic, but most places enjoy a leisurely meal in the middle of the day. Typically the menu is light, consisting of uncooked vegetables and fruits and appetizers in lieu of entrees. Of course, you’ll need an appropriate Champagne.

3. Fireworks!

Like many holidays commemorating the independence of a nation, Bastille Day is celebrated with elaborate firework demonstrations. When the sun falls, treat your friends or guests to a simple, but tasteful display. Children are fond of handheld sparklers. As always, be safe.

4. Attend a parade.

On Bastille Day, you will find military parades all over France. The nation’s finest service men and women polish their best and march in perfect form through the streets. Unlike American parades, candy is rarely distributed. You aren’t likely to find a large parade in the States, but your local French community center may invite French veterans to speak or take photographs.

5. Don French colors.

Every inch of space in France will be covered with French flags and its colors: blue, blanc, and rouge (red, white and blue). Weave these colors throughout your party space, from your table settings to your invitations. You may wear them about your person, but do so tastefully and respectfully.

6. Include French music.

A French party is not complete without music! Create a playlist of your favorite French songs, including the Marseillaise and traditional accordion music. Consider chanteuses like Carla Bruni or Vanessa Paradis, or play contemporary French pop in the background. 

buy champagneWritten by Henri of Henri's Reserve

Henri’s Reserve is an e-boutique devoted to champagne lovers. We are a gateway to the seductive world of Family Estate bubblies; a place to sit back and indulge in the joie de champagne. Henri’s Reserve offers exceptional grower champagnes with true depth and subtlety—original tastes you won’t find anywhere else. Our collection consists of handcrafted, estate-bottled champagnes produced by houses that ship often less than 5,000 cases a year and produce vastly fewer of their cuvée spéciales. 

Quality and exclusivity is what you experience with Henri’s Reserve. Be the “I want to go to their house” host. Don’t serve the same-old-same-old. Help your friends discover the world of Family Estate Champagnes and be the joy delivering gift-giver. Henri’s Reserve opens the world of Champagnes to you with a Champagne Club - receive magnificent bottles of champagne every month with “Henri’s Club.”

Learn more at www.henrisreserve.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Henri's Reserve? Send your topic idea to pr@henrisreserve.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Henri's Reserve makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Photo Credit: edwardotis via Compfight cc

Time Posted: Jul 14, 2014 at 11:24 AM
Henri of Henri's Reserve
 

7 Secrets to Pairing Champagne with Foods

pair champagne with your mealAh, the perfect meal is like a symphony – rich and harmonious. Your flavors should complement one another; never argue. You must inspire your guests with your meal’s je ne c'est quoi.

Mon ami, however you create your feast, may I share a few tips?

1. Why serve wine when you can sip Champagne?

Often my friends in the States save champagne for special occasions. However, you can use Champagne to create an oh-so-decadent lunch or dinner. Use champagne and food pairings to create combinations that delight your guests and their taste buds, or pick up an expertly designed champagne package to serve with your meal.

2. Champagne is divine with salty foods.

Saltiness and sweetness is a traditional combination that appeals to everyone’s palette. Champagne will enhance Mexican dishes (guacamole or tortillas), French Fries, popcorn, Thai food, and fish if salt is used. Desserts with a pinch of sweetness are fine (like pound cake, shortbread, or lemon desserts), but steer clear of super-sweet dishes

3. Blanc de Blancs pair perfectly with lighter foods.

Blanc d Blancs are made with Chardonnay grapes and generally go well with lighter foods, like vegetable dishes and seafood, including lobster, crab, and shrimp. Oysters are also a favorite. Blanc de Blancs go well with most cheeses and simple appetizers.

4. Pair Brut Champagnes with heavier dishes.

The dryness of a Brut makes it incompatible with sweets, but it is perfect for heartier dishes. Pair Bruts with turkey, eggs, pasta, mushrooms, lobster, shrimp, nuts, or scallops, Asian dishes, or any fish. Brut also goes well with aged, hard cheese like Parmesan, Gouda, or cheddar.

5. Avoid heavy tomato sauces.

Tomatoes are an acidic fruit, which clashes with the already-high acidity level of Champagne. If you serve tomato-based dishes, your tongue will be overwhelmed. Stick to creamier sauces with butter or mushroom bases.

6. Pair Rosé with pinkish meats, cherries & berries.

The color of a Rosé comes from the addition of pinot noir wine at the second fermentation, or by macerating it with the skins of red grapes. It is best served with the pink meats, such as poultry, lamb, ham, duck, and other game. A surprising but delightful combination is Rosé and BBQ beef.

7. Pair Demi-Sec Champagnes with desserts.

If you’re new to Champagne, “dry” may sound like an unsuitable word. Dry doesn’t mean it won’t quench your thirst; it refers to the lack of sweetness in Champagne. As such, dry Champagnes are perfect for semi-sweet desserts like fruit pastries and chocolate.

But mon ami, please remember: it is your preference that matters, not mine! But never fear, I will always stand by with recommendations as your personal chef de cave!

What is your favorite Champagne food pairing? Comment below!

buy champagneWritten by Henri of Henri's Reserve

Henri’s Reserve is an e-boutique devoted to champagne lovers. We are a gateway to the seductive world of Family Estate bubblies; a place to sit back and indulge in the joie de champagne. Henri’s Reserve offers exceptional grower champagnes with true depth and subtlety—original tastes you won’t find anywhere else. Our collection consists of handcrafted, estate-bottled champagnes produced by houses that ship often less than 5,000 cases a year and produce vastly fewer of their cuvée spéciales. 

Quality and exclusivity is what you experience with Henri’s Reserve. Be the “I want to go to their house” host. Don’t serve the same-old-same-old. Help your friends discover the world of Family Estate Champagnes and be the joy delivering gift-giver. Henri’s Reserve opens the world of Champagnes to you with a Champagne Club - receive magnificent bottles of champagne every month with “Henri’s Club.”

Learn more at www.henrisreserve.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Henri's Reserve? Send your topic idea to pr@henrisreserve.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Henri's Reserve makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Photo Credit: nImAdestiny via Compfight cc

Time Posted: Jul 1, 2014 at 8:45 AM

"Let me be your personal chef de cave. Sit back, relax, and I'll choose for you."

 

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