I feel badly for champagne.* It’s fizzy. It’s tasty. It’s very refreshing on a summer’s day. It does a wonderful job of picking up autumnal fruit flavors. It is smashing with dessert.
And the only time people seem to drink it is during the last hour of the year and the first hour of a wedding reception.
What a waste.
And I think waste is the problem. If your house is like mine, not everyone likes champagne (e.g. it's too sweet, I don't like the bubbles, it always gives me a headache**). And if you open a bottle – pop! – you better finish it (which is probably a bad idea if you’re the only one having champagne). Because it’s well known that champagnes don’t keep, right? Wrong.
Enter the champagne bottle stopper – which is designed to re-seal the bottle so it can go back in the refrigerator to please another day. A re-sealed bottle will easily last for a week or more – allowing plenty of time to finish off a bottle at an easy pace. I got this little beauty at Amazon. Set me back a whole $7.50.
Having champagne on-hand also opens up a whole world of champagne cocktails that go way beyond the mimosa. One of my first attempts was “The Ritz”
¾ oz orange juice
½ oz cognac
¼ oz citronage (or cointreau, or triple-sec)
Mix these three together briskly and add to the bottom of a flute. Top with champagne. The cognac mellows out the sweetness of champagne and the citrus adds a nice tang, creating a well-balanced and refreshing drink on a warm summer’s evening. I had two – and was considering a third, when I thought better of it…
*and for sparkling wine, as it’s called outside the Champagne region of France, and being a global citizen, I will refer to all of them as champagne.
**in order, don't buy "very dry" buy "brut" instead, nothing to do about that, don't buy really cheap stuff.