Happy New Year everyone! We believe everyone should ring in the new year with a fabulous theme party. In the past, we hosted a black and white party, a masquerade ball, a rave and a pink and gold dinner party. This year’s theme was Pop, Fizz, Clink! We are excited to share our celebration with you.
Popping the cork and toasting with fizzy champagne as the clock strikes midnight is a tradition that dates back over 1,500 years. For our Pop, Clink, Fizz dinner party, we served Champagne and bites that pair with bubbly. So what makes a sparkling wine a Champagne? Champagne refers to sparkling wine made in the Champagne method in the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wines produced elsewhere are nothing more than a doppelgänger even if they are made in the Champagne method.
Here’s a quick cheatsheet of common sparkling wine around the world.
France (outside of Champagne): Crémant
Italy: Brachetto / Lambrusco / Moscato d’Asti / Prosecco
Russia: Sovetskoye Shampanskoye
Spain : Cava
We wanted our guests to sip sparkling wine like a bubbly connoisseur. Any grape varietal can be made into sparkling wine, including reds, whites, and rosés. Certain grapes are more well known for their fresh, fruit and floral aromas such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Chenin and Semillon. The process of making sparkling wines differs from still wines. Grapes are picked early in the season with high acidity and low sugar content and undergo two fermentations: the first to produce alcohol, and the second to produce bubbles.
Sparkling wine has four levels of sweetness. Champagne and other sparkling wines print their level of sweetness on the label. These key words describe wines from driest to sweetest.
Extra-Brut: The driest type of sparkling wine with no sugar.
Brut: The most popular type of sparkling wine with just a hint of sweetness.
Extra Dry: Surprise! This wine is sweeter than Brut and extra-brut wines.
Demi-Sec: A fully sweet sparkling wine that pairs well with dessert.
So what puts the sparkle in all of these sparkling wines? Carbon dioxide creates the bubbles that make Champagne. There are two well known methods for making sparking wine. In the traditional method, winemakers create a dry, still wine, and then blend it with others to achieve the desired style. Then the wine is bottled, topped off with a mixture of wine, sugar and yeast and then sealed. Next the secondary fermentation begins in the bottle, where the yeast breaks down the sugar and converts it to alcohol and carbon dioxide. Lastly, the bottle is sealed with a cork and wire cage and then stored to age. Another alternative is the Charmat method, in which winemakers induce the secondary fermentation of still wine in a large pressurized tank instead of individual bottles.
We selected a chic black, white and gold color palette for our Pop, Fizz, Clink party. We purchased digital paper from Creative Market and custom created our menu, food tents and props. This digital paper coordinated with our Photo Booth perfectly!
We decorated the dining table with a gold sequin tablecloth and a silver sparkly Happy New Year banner from Paper Source. Our floral arrangements included three bud vases with crisp white roses. We chilled the Champagne for four hours before the party started. We also used long stemmed flutes from Mikasa’s Cheers collection to serve the Champagne. Champagne should be served around 45 degrees. Don’t chill your bubbly in the freezer – that often kills the wine’s effervescence. For quick chilling, we recommend placing the bubbly in a mixture of ice and water for 15 to 20 minutes.
We created a Photo Booth with a black, white and gold backdrop from Etsy and gold POP, FIZZ, CLINK balloons from Instaballoons. We also had a variety of Photo Booth props, but everyone’s favorites were the jumbo champagne bottle and flute balloons. Instaballoons is offering Twinspirational followers a 10% discount on their balloon purchases. Just use this link and / or use the discount code Twinspirational to create a memorable Photo Booth for your next event.
We also picked up bubbly cocktail napkins from Paper Source. We also served additional hard alcohol for guests, but of course the twins sipped on champs all night long.
We created a menu featuring bites that pair with bubbly. Champagne and salty, fried foods are an irresistible, delicious pairing. Champagne has little tannic content, subtle finishes, young fruit aromas, and citric notes. The flavor ranges from lean and crisp with lots of lemon, green apple and stony minerality to rich and full with aromas of brioche, toffee and baked apples. Rosé Champagne offers notes of red fruit and berry aromas.
We started with a delicious cheese plate featuring Italian Truffle, Triple Cream Brie, Creamy Toscano, fresh baguette, black pepper crackers, red beet crackers, craisins and walnuts. We displayed the cheese plate on a large wooden cutting board with cheese knives and cheese labels. Triple Crème cheeses are rich, buttery and mild in flavor. Champagne bubbles balance out the creamy goodness in Triple Crème cheeses. Truffles and Champagne another classic pairing. The creamy Toscano soaked in Syrah was also another great pairing.
We also served white truffle potato chips, buttery popcorn, spring rolls and samosas. Archana also prepared beet and burrata crostini, truffle mac and cheese and turkey sliders. For dessert, we served Meyer lemon biscuits with lemon curd and chocolate truffles.
Champagne needs no particular meal or special occasion to be enjoyed, so take our advice and drink it anytime, anywhere! You can incorporate sparkling wines into your next happy hour, brunch or dinner. Special thanks to all of our friends for joining us for Pop, Fizz, Clink and cheers to the start of a fabulous 2018.
“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years”––Henry Moore