HOME > Chowhound > Wine >


Is it weird to drink Champagne by oneself?

Perhaps this issue is more psychological than oenological, but here goes...

I live alone and do a great deal of cooking for one. I greatly enjoy shopping for wine and seeking out the perfect pairing for each dish I prepare. I make dinner, have 2 or 3 glasses of carefully selected wine, Vac-u-Vin the rest to enjoy over the next couple days with leftovers and call it a night. I make no apologies for this behavior.

Here's where it gets tricky. Certain dishes (especially seafood!) cry loudly for Champagne, which we all know is one of the most versatile and easy-pairing wines on earth. Yet I cannot bring myself to uncorking a bottle if I don't have guests over; I would feel comically weird, like a lonely, pathetic alcoholic. Still wine does not make feel this way.

I think my problem stems at least partially from the peculiar manner in which Americans enjoy (and fetishize?) Champagne--as a toasting and special-occasion drink only. Have others experienced--and perhaps overcome--this aversion?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'll drink champagne on my own when the mood strikes me, celebrate whenever possible, I don't feel that I am "a lonely pathetic alcoholic" -- though those are powerful words, I must say. America has become rather prudish about alcohol over the past 40 years I think, of course as I sort of admire Churchill's drinking style (though I can't even closely equal it) my opinion could be very far from the mainstream.

    1. I think it's a lovely idea. If Champagne is what your taste buds need to make the meal complete -- by all means!....

      As an overall attitude adjustment, there are many things I do on a more frequent basis rather than waiting for that special occasion (opening that box of candy, using the good towels, eating off of the dishes reserved for company, etc.) Drinking Champagne is something I do more frequently -- and it still feels special.

      Cheers to you!

      8 Replies
      1. re: amyleechen

        Along those lines, John & Dottie (WSJ Weekend writers) espouse opening those "special wines," on one day per year. Not a bad idea, as I have literally hundreds of "special wines," and always get more, regardless of how often I tap into them. I *will* include Champagne! Now to convince my wife, that I have been a good husband...


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Bill, I've considered this question. You must buy "special" wines but these are for ordinary drinking, yes? At a bottle a day, buying 7 cases would outfit daily drinking for several months (around 3 months). Is this how you think about your buying/drinking?

          1. re: steinpilz

            No, I am not that ordered. I buy wines, that I have found that I enjoy, and usually buy 6-12 bottles of these. Since I have found that I enjoy more wines (in quantity), than I can consume, I end up with extras. I still hope to be able to consume all but one bottle, in my lifetime, and then let my wife and my roudy friends have one bottle, to toast my demise. Right now, I'm behind the curve, though am drinking as quickly as I can. Were it not for a wealth of great wines, I'd have caught up, but I have not.

            My age, however, is the one reason that I do not read the latest reports on Bdx., Oporto, etc. I have too many to consume, when they reach maturity, to worry about picking up young bottles, as I have no one to leave the wine to. Still, I'm behind. By my rough calculations, I have about 4K bottles to go though, and that is after my Turley & Biale allotment came. Just got my Insignia allotment, and hope to live long enough to enjoy that. But then, there are the Amarones, the Barolos, the Cal-Cabs, etc., etc.

            Yeah, I need to set a schedule for consumption.


            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Bill, I am here for you. I will help you knock that 4K down to several dozen by Easter. Just say when.

              1. re: AlabasterDisaster

                I'd be happy to help out also, at 365 bottles/year it would take more than ten years to go throught them all! Of course a big and good party or dinner could put some dents in those 4K.

              2. re: Bill Hunt

                Bill...you've got a lot of new friends!

                1. re: perk

                  Yes, it does seem so, and they seem qualified to help me drink down that cellar too!

                  Fortunately, it's cool here, 'cause I just got five cases, that have to be stored in the garage, as the cellar is just filled to overflowing right now. I plan on gifting many of these, so I'll pare down the stack, prior to the Holidays and then just load the remainders.

                  Hunt, drinking it as quickly as he can... [Grin]

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    I will be happy to liberate and celebrate several bottles for you...mmmm, bubbles!

        2. drinking champagne is intrinsically good.

          1. You are NOT alone when there are many, like myself, who will be enjoying some bubbles tonight-solo.
            I sometimes don't want to commit to a whole bottle of Champagne, so, like tonight, I will be opening a great bottle of Spanish CAVA (Naveran Brut Reserva Blanc de Blancs) because it's only $13.50 and only 11.5% alcohol and will go very well with my dinner..it's very refreshing and wont make me too loopy while I get the house all prettied up for the holidays.
            Think of it this way, there are many people who will sit at a bar, alone, and have 2 cocktails (in LA, this adds up to about $24) and nothing to eat and go home alone and have a beer to top it off.
            A person who is likely to open a bottle of wine or champagne is more likely to enjoy the ritual and sensuality of their meal and drink and relax and enjoy...sooooo, ENJOY!

            1. Yago, just think of champagne as wine with bubbles. I'll uncork a bottle just for the hell of it if I'm having a good day, bad day....a day :). Champagne, schmampange. Drink what you like with what you like. After all, YOLO!

              1. I also live alone, cook a lot, and agree that certain sea food, especially chilled stone crabs with mustard sauce, screams for champagne. And I have enjoyed both for many years without psychoanalysis. Actually I think the habit has relieved me of the need for psychoanalysis, at a fraction of the price.
                I recall reading some time ago the statistic of champagne consumption per capita per year in the US. I can't recall the number, but I was stunned by how small the figure was. Americans are either not having enough fun, or their fun is of a sort different from my own.
                EDIT: And those cheap press-down-clamp-the-sides champagne stoppers will keep half a bottle fizzy overnight, to enjoy with the rest of the crabs tomorrow.

                1. Drink on Yago Homo, and don't forget that Champagne comes in splits if you don't want to kill that whole bottle of bubbly by yourself and feel like a lonely, pathetic alcoholic. But believe you me, I love the soft fuzzy feeling after a full bottle of Brut Rose.

                  1. One should always practise random acts of celebration! Pop that cork! ENJOY!!!

                    1. It'd be weird to most Americans, and not just if you were drinking by yourself. Three weeks ago in Boston, my dining companion and I ordered a half bottle of the '96 Laurent-Perrier with our meal. When our server brought out the champagne, he asked, "Are we celebrating a special occasion?" When I joked, "Not anything besides this fine lobster," he looked extremely puzzled and must have thought I was nuts.

                      I live by myself and cook for one frequently as well, along with frequent takeouts of sushi. I may not be opening the vintage stuff, but I opt for the value champagnes and American sparklers frequently. Luckily most of my friends are more envious of my champagne habits than anything else. If you don't feel bad about having a couple of beers with a good cheeseburger, you shouldn't feel bad about having champagne either.

                      Someone once told me, "You don't need a special occasion to drink champagne. But anytime you do drink champagne becomes a celebration." Nothing wrong with celebrating by oneself.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mengathon

                        "When our server brought out the champagne, he asked, "Are we celebrating a special occasion?" When I joked, "Not anything besides this fine lobster," he looked extremely puzzled and must have thought I was nuts."

                        A friend and I will order a class or bottle of Prosecco after a long week and a long work out and we have gotten the "Are we celebrating a special occasion?" 99% of the time.
                        Pretty cute that you said "You don't need a special occasion to drink champagne. But anytime you do drink champagne becomes a celebration." becuase that is always my friend's answer.

                        A friend will be coming by tonight to help me with my bubbles this evening before we head out for wine and sliders...mmm, yum!

                      2. server: care for a drink?

                        me: yes, a bottle of veuve clicquot, please.

                        server: are we celebrating anything special today?

                        me: yes, sunday.

                        18 Replies
                            1. re: steve h.

                              The Widow had to work very hard in a man's world, with a small child in tow, in a man's world, to institution her revolutionary visions. As a member of The Sisterhood, glad to know you guys appreciate her efforts. ;-D Vive La Veuve!

                              1. re: MaggieRSN

                                just left the grand stanford (tst east, kowloon, hong kong). the widow was poured freely from 6 - 8:30 p.m. in the club lounge. a happy hour, indeed.

                                sisterhood? care to share?

                                1. re: steve h.

                                  Yeah, steve, The Sisterhood. "I am woman, hear me roar."

                                  The general bond of femalehood.

                                  Madame Clicquot has been one of my heroines for many years, and it's not about the bubbly. (That didn't exactly hurt her cause with me, however.)

                                  Although I think I like Hunt's interpretation more.

                                  Speaking of happy hours, I just looked back at my previous message to you, and it looked as though I had been through several of them myself before I posted. Ugh. Look at those typos! No--don't!

                                  They sure know how to live right in (parts of) Hong Kong.

                                  1. re: MaggieRSN

                                    howdy maggie,

                                    i suspect you would like my grandmother. husband left her with five kids (brooklyn). she worked during the day and put them through school (brooklyn prep for the boys, notre dame for the girls). later, she studied law at fordham and became a magistrate in nyc. gutsy lady, no?

                                    oh, let the record show that i am indeed a coastal sailing, new england guy.

                                    never mind the typos, we all need an editor.



                                    1. re: steve h.

                                      Yes, I suspect I would like your grandmother. I'm always grateful to ladies like that . When the going gets tough, and the demi-tough (uh, that would be me) have (has) a hard time getting going, I concentrate on what they achieved, against what odds. It helps me grow a demi-backbone :-). Tough enough for a women to make it into law school in those days, having been married would have been a strike against her (I mean, in Admissions eyes), and having five children...Yikes. And she made it to magistrate, eh? I salute her. And just think how *she* could have revolutionized the Champagne business ;-).

                                2. re: MaggieRSN


                                  Is this the "sisterhood of the traveling magnum?" [Insert grin here]

                                  You guys surely know how to have fun. I have GOT to loosen up a bit. Thanks for the ideas.


                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                    Hee hee, I *like* it! Do I get a signet ring for my little finger? Silver insignia buttons for my waistcoat? Ooooh--a secret phrase!! (I'm thinking, "three sheets to the wind". Has a nice New England coastal, seafaring, sodden ring to it.)

                                  2. re: MaggieRSN

                                    The region of Champagne is unusual in that it has a history of powerhouse women running wineries.

                                    Lest we forget the others...

                                    Louise Pommery was also a widow who took over her husband's Champagne winery after he died in 1858. She was a formidable woman, with bold business plans and marketing savvy, who also established a number of social programs for her workers, on-site child care being one of the most interesting. She turned what had been a small red-wine house into a gangbuster, hugely profitable Champagne house. She introduced the first brut Champagne. When you visit Pommery, the wine is just part of the fun; the story of Louise and the art in the caves are also interesting.

                                    Lily Bollinger ran her husband's winery when he died in 1941 until her death in 1977. She seems like she would have been a lot of fun -- some of the best quotes about Champagne ever are hers.

                                    Mathilde Émile Laurent-Perrier ran Laurent-Perrier from 1858, when her husband died, till 1890. It was then purchased by another widow, Marie-Louise Lanson de Nonancourt.

                                    Camille Olry-Roederer ran Louis Roederer following the death of her husband, Léon Olry-Roederer, in 1932. She essentially made the winery viable after the Depression.

                                    But the pioneering, powerhouse babe was Nicole-Barbe Clicquot-Ponsardin.

                                    The achievements of these women are all the more interesting given the time (mid- to late 1800s for Clicquot, Pommery and Laurent-Perrier), and the almost inpenetrable French tradition of men running wineries, especially in that day.

                                    So perhaps, it's Vive les Veuves!

                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                        Thanks Maria, that was very interesting.

                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                          Thanks again, Maria, for the fascinating history lesson. It got me thinking: Given the almost impenetrable French tradition of men running wineries back in the day, it seems more than coincidence that these widows all ran their wineries in Champagne, as opposed to anywhere else. Burgundy, for instance? Surely there were Burgundian winemakers who died whose affairs were left in the hands of their wives? Unless the property laws were dramatically different in various parts of France, it's hard to imagine this being just a coincidence specific to Champagne.

                                          Or perhaps it's just that these champagne houses have, until recently, remained in control of the same families for a century and more (as opposed to various chateaus changing hands in Bordeaux? I'm not entirely certain of this fact either), and thus the history of the accomplishments of these women have been preserved better.

                                          Maybe you can elucidate?

                                          1. re: mengathon

                                            I am not aware of any other region in France that has had such a prevalence of widows running wineries.

                                            What I can try to do is summarize what I have read, and explain, sort of, the phenomenon of widow ownership in Champagne, and how, in a way, it took off.

                                            Even though Veuve Clicquot, Veuve Laurent-Perrier and Veuve Pommery were brilliant entrepreneurs and marketers, who invented new techniques in Champagne-making, they were described in the French press at the time as being devoted and attentive mothers who, to assuage their grief, threw themselves into their late husband’s businesses.

                                            But the deeper story is that they were admired for their contributions to the economic turnaround of the Champagne region, their boldness even in the face of war, and, especially in the case of Louise Pommery, for their social consciousness. At the same time, Veuve Binet and Veuve Loche were also the heads of their late husbands’ Champagne houses. Five Veuves At One Time Running Champagne Houses.

                                            So, if you’re living in France in the late 1800s, drinking Veuve Champagnes – widow wines -- becomes the cool thing to do. According to the wisdom of the day, Veuve Champagne is indicative of a devoted mother and of continuity with the past – it’s the politically correct, socially conscious wine of choice. So much so that some negociants at the time actually invent fictional Veuve brand names (Veuve Damas was one) to make their bubbly more attractive to drinkers.

                                            So, in that respect also, I know of no other French region where Veuve-branded wine was considered to be the better or smarter consumer choice.

                                            >>> Unless the property laws were dramatically different in various parts of France, it's hard to imagine this being just a coincidence specific to Champagne.

                                            I don’t think I have enough information to address this properly. What I do know is that when Pommery, Clicquot, Laurent-Perrier, Binet and Loche inherited their Champagne houses from their husbands, France, unlike other European nations, had granted property rights and head-of-household status to widows. Additionally, the wineries these five women inherited were small, and in general smaller wineries were allowed to run under the radar of government oversight. The region of Champagne may have been left alone because of its lack of economic viability. Additionally, both Clicquot and Pommery had the tactical acumen to hire talented male associates who attended the government commerce and negociant meetings. By the time Clicquot's and Pommery’s wineries had become huge successes, it was easier for other women – other widows -- to follow. Beyond that, I don’t know.

                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                              Thanks Maria, for your reply. Always enlightening. I'm gonna go try finding a couple of books on this subject. I'll report back if I do.

                                              1. re: mengathon

                                                I can recommend a couple or ten. Shoot me an email (address on my profile).

                                          2. re: maria lorraine

                                            I knew about Lilly Bollinger, Maria, but not the others. So thank you for posting this. I loved reading about them. (I'll have to go read some more.)

                                            Et, oui...drink up, everybody...aux Veuves!


                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                              wow. i will be sure to toast to these remarkable women the next time i open a bottle, whether i'm alone or not. although it makes me wonder (in a very, very superstitious way) about the longevity of making champagne if you are male! thank you for the history lesson. on-site child care? i knew champagne was a source of pure good.

                                    1. You chowhounds are a delight! Emboldened by your support, I've picked up a bottle of Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs to entertain me while I cook tonight (not Champagne per se, but perhaps favorite American producer).

                                      1. As Madame Lily Bollinger observed:

                                        "I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad.
                                        Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone.
                                        When I have company I consider it obligatory.
                                        I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and I drink it when I am.
                                        Otherwise I never touch it, unless I'm thirsty.""

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: zin1953

                                          You beat me to it, Jason. Was just going to post this.

                                          So, in lieu of that, here's one from Isak Dinesen:
                                          "And one can always be very comfortable if one just has a glass of bubbly
                                          along with one’s predicament."

                                          1. re: maria lorraine


                                            I may not know much about wines, but even I know enough to agree with that.

                                            I always look to Alice Roosevelt Longworth and Dorothy Parker for life guidance. I'll have to go see what they might have said on the topic. Probably not fit to post in good-natured company, however!


                                        2. Hm-m, interesting differentiation. Until you posted this, I had never thought about it. I do not live alone, but my wife is often quite late, with meetings, etc., and I declare "wine-thirty," often in her absence. I usually grab a bottle of SB, or lighter Chard, until she arrives, and then move up to a bigger Chard, because she likes those. We have dozens of bottles of sparklers, mostly Champagne, but I never think of these. I've even got a sealing cap for them, but do not go to bubbles, unless we have company. Like most of the mentioned, US, even with the two of us, we'll usually only pop a bottle of Champagne, when we are celebrating something, though often use a really good white Burg for that. I really enjoy Champagne and attend several tastings per year. My wife LOVES Champagne (really got me into it), but we almost never do it, even for the two of us. I see what you mean.

                                          When picking up bottles to have at a resort, I'm less likely to grab a bottle of bubbles, than so very many other wines, even though I enjoy it and pair sparklers with a lot of food at our events.

                                          Good question, but I have no answer, other than citing the instances above. I think that you may be on to something, regarding the US perception, as to the consumption of bubbles. I pledge to crack a bottle, or two, just to try and break the mold! Only hesitancy that I have, is that wife will wonder what I am feeling guilty about, when she's handed a flute with bubbles - I guess that I can just say, "dear, it's just that I love you... " Now, if I can just survive the "waterboarding" to find out what I've done wrong.

                                          Thanks for getting me to think,

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                            howdy bill,
                                            when deb and i returned to the states after a stint in asia courtesy of my uncle (last of the draftees, number 54), we didn't have much money but insisted on a bottle of piper brut (nv) every friday night. it just seemed right.

                                            1. re: steve h.

                                              Sounds like a good idea! And, BTW, thanks!!

                                              I have to break out of my "shell," and just do Champagne more often. I like it, my wife loves it, we match it with many food dishes, and I've got a ton. Why not drink it, even without company?


                                            2. re: Bill Hunt

                                              Thanks for the post! I'm glad I wasn't the only one with this tendency.

                                              Tonight, after a few glasses of (not really) Champagne, I am starting to think that Americans aren't entirely wrong.... call me sentimental, call me conventional, but I daresay there *is* something inherently special and celebratory in the very texture and taste of the wine itself--an extraordinary quality that might be cheapened somewhat by indiscriminate indulgence.

                                              That being said, I need to start thinking of a lot more reasons to celebrate, as suggested in many of the posts above. Perhaps the answer is not to remove Champagne from its cultural pedestal, but to cease to overlook more of the minor occasions for merriment--like stumbling upon a sublime Spanish goat cheese or a bounty of stone crabs.

                                              P.S. I like the concept of wine-thirty; mind if I borrow it?

                                              1. re: Yaqo Homo

                                                >>minor occasions for merriment--like stumbling upon a sublime Spanish goat cheese or a bounty of stone crabs.

                                                Or because it's Tuesday.

                                                1. re: Yaqo Homo

                                                  Wine-thirty is great!

                                                  You better trademark that, Bill. It would be a great name for wine bar.

                                                2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                  To me, it's simple.

                                                  I know what you're saying. When hubby steps out of habit, or I step out of one of mine, even in a positive way, the other tends to ask, "Something happen? What's wrong?"

                                                  I would just say, show her or read to her some of these posts. Then she'll know what got you thinking about it. You like Champagne, she loves it... Why not?

                                                  I'm probably one of the most Puritanical persons on this board--no, really, I mean literally, by lineage and place. If I can throw off at least one of the shackles of non-frivolity that are my birthright, so can you and Mrs.!

                                                  Like some of the other distinctly (and distinctively) American strains of collective conscience that my forbears foolishly condemned generations of us to, the idea that it's not done, to drink Champagne by oneself, or on "ordinary" occasions, is just one more bit of hypocritical folly they left to us.

                                                  There's no reason it's different from any other wine, about which the following questions apply equally to Champagne. Can one afford to do it? Is one suffering in any way, or causing harm to others, physically, emotionally or professionally, because of partaking? Can one do *easily* without it, and be happy?

                                                  If the answers to the questions above are the only proper ones, it doesn't matter what the glass holds.

                                                  JMO, but God made us a beautiful and difficult world. I think He wants us to revel in the fun parts as much as He wants us to face with dignity and patience the hard parts. JMO, of course.

                                                  Drink the stars!

                                                3. "Three be the things I shall never attain:
                                                  Envy, content, and sufficient champagne."
                                                  Dorothy Parker

                                                  Drink to your heart's content, and think not what others think!

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    I try to drink champagne or sparkling as often as possible to remind myself that life is worth celebration. Good friends and good food are often reason enough to celebrate. Live the life you love and love the life you live. ;)

                                                    1. re: chowpiggy

                                                      Well said. Champagne is one of life's great pleasures and should be enjoyed whenever possible. Life's too short to wait just for special occasions!

                                                    2. re: Gio

                                                      Dorothy! My touchstone; you found a quote from her.

                                                      Bless your (Champagne championing) heart.

                                                      1. re: MaggieRSN

                                                        I Love Dorothy too.
                                                        "A bit of bad taste is like a dash of paprika."

                                                      1. Solitary Champagne is wonderful. Go for it!

                                                        I often drink sparkling wine by myself - sometimes real Champagne, and sometimes a sparkling wine. (I'm on a Gruet kick right now...) For one thing, my husband doesn't drink, and for another, I really love sparkling wine and I deserve it. Frequently.

                                                        But I can't finish a whole bottle by myself anymore (I used to, but my limit is two glasses these days), so I use a champagne stopper. It lasts in the fridge for several more days - as much as five if not opened in the interim. If it gets too ancient, I use it to make a Champagne cocktail.


                                                        1. The best thing about drinking Champagne alone is that you can focus on the wine without distraction, and you don't have to share.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: davebough

                                                            Sparkling wine/Champagne makes any day, no matter how dreary, feel somehow special.

                                                            The stoppers are a life saver, one bottle can make two days special.

                                                          2. the only thing that keeps me from walking down the street with a bottle of bubbly in hand every night is the law. and economics. i'd rather drink it with someone else, but i'm not a puritan or a purist. sparkling wines make me very happy. a "lonely, pathetic alcoholic" you are not.

                                                            1. "Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life." Charles Dickens
                                                              “How is Champagne made? By sheer genius, sir, sheer genius” Anonymous
                                                              "Come quickly! I am tasting stars!" --- Dom Perignon at his first sip of champagne

                                                              Drink it and be merry - today is Monday!

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Cookiefiend

                                                                >>"Come quickly! I am tasting stars!" --- Dom Perignon at his first sip of champagne<<

                                                                Unfortunately apocryphal. But so good, it's still worth repeating.

                                                                1. re: carswell

                                                                  oops ~

                                                                  I wasn't aware of that! I found it when looking for champagne quotes to put in a brochure for a champagne tasting we were having at our home. It is a good one though!

                                                                  Another favorite is:

                                                                  "Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk of them and Champagne makes you do them." -- Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

                                                                  1. re: Cookiefiend

                                                                    Richard Paul Hinkle's Second Wine Law simply states: "Great Pinot Noirs inspire one to create new sins...and wish to commit them!"

                                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                                      oh ho!

                                                                      that's a really good one Jason - I'll add that to my list of wine/champagne quotes for future use

                                                                      :-) no wonder I like pinot noir!

                                                              2. don't know why there should be a problem with it. buy some half-btls.

                                                                1. I could drink champagne for breakfast!!! Of course I'm in the wine business, so I have the bottles to do it with, but I drink it frequently! Get yourself some half bottles, or 187ml/single serves and enjoy (p.s., the small bottles are usually not true champagne, but sparkling wine....but there are some good ones!)

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mmuch

                                                                    >>> (p.s., the small bottles are usually not true champagne, but sparkling wine....but there are some good ones!) <<<

                                                                    I'm not sure what you mean by this.

                                                                    IF the wine that is produced, bottled and sold in a 750ml is [true] Champagne, so too is the wine that is sold in a 187ml ("split," or quarter-bottle) or in, say, a 6.0L (Methuselah). Under the rules and regulations of Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée for Champagne, a wine is still considered to be produced according to the méthode champenoise in ALL the various bottle sizes, even though the actual second fermentation and time en tirage takes place (typically) in the 750ml (bottle) and 1.5: (magnum) sizes ONLY. (Can you imagine trying to turn a 6.0L on a riddling rack?)

                                                                    * * * * *

                                                                    OTOH, if you're speaking on "non-Champagne" sparkling wine . . . it IS true, for example, that Chandon Napa does not produce 187ml "splits," yet they sell them. A closer look at the wine's label reveals that Chandon Napa IMPORTS the 187ml size from its sister winery, Chandon Argentina.


                                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                                      I meant that there aren't too many true champagnes houses that make a 187ml, that I am familiar with. I guess pardon my incorrect wording... maybe I had too much champagne when I wrote this.

                                                                      1. re: mmuch

                                                                        Nicolas Feuillatte, Pommery, and Piper Hiedsieck, Heidsieck Monopole all make quarters, with Feuillatte and Pommery available in rosés. I believe Pommery has just introduced an '02 vintage for their quarter as well.

                                                                  2. I don't know if anyone's quoted the following yet (forgive me if someone has):

                                                                    "In victory you deserve it, in defeat you need it."

                                                                    Napoleon speaking of champagne

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: chefdilettante

                                                                      That Napoleon was a smart guy!!!!! Had a cute wife too.

                                                                    2. No, it's not wierd at all.

                                                                      1. We, my wife and I drink champagne 2,3,4 times a week, Champagne is not just for special occasions. Drink it, Sip it, Enjoy it. If the food calls for Champagne, pop a bottle!!!!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: chefsklls

                                                                          Champagne is great for the digestion -- at least, our waiter told us that in Vienna. You can stock up on splits and half bottles, and these will cork up if you can't finish them. Champagne and Prosecco are my hands down favorite apperitifs, but I also like champagne with a meal, especially Vietnamese and Chinese food.

                                                                        2. Champagne is one of my favorite types of wine. To be fair, I'll open an expensive Amarone or Pinot by myself but will shy away from opening good vintage Champagne by myself. But a good $25-$40 NV gets opened whenever I feel like it, whether or not I am alone.

                                                                          1. In 19th century French literature you will always read "Vin de Champagne". Never "Champagne" by itself.
                                                                            And the usage was exactly that, it was just one more, albeit excellent, wine.
                                                                            Not too sure when the "celebratory"context was instantiated for the wines from Champagne, but it was certainly not at the beginnings.
                                                                            Alexandre Dumas in his Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine published in 1873, three years after his death, writes under the "Vins" entry ( my translation ):
                                                                            "The wines from Champagne were not known when Venceslas, king of the Romans and of Boheme, went to Reims to negotiate a treaty with Charles VI in the month of Mai 1397. He tasted the wines from around the town and found them so good, that he allocated three hours per day, from three to six, to get drunk."
                                                                            As you see, pure bliss, no special celebration.

                                                                            1. Just wanted to chime in with a hearty thanks for the great thread. Never been a huge fan of bubbly, but willing to be converted. Good posts, all.

                                                                              1. I don't think drinking champagne alone is weird at all. Why not celebrate YOURSELF if and when the mood strikes you? Add a little Chambord. This may help you feel a little less guilty.

                                                                                1. I do bubbly solo. For champagne, I often pick up a few of the quarter-sized Piper Heidsieck bottles when I come across them. Other times, I open up a full bottle of Prosecco, instead- especially when I am enjoying something like salumi, or a cheese platter with crakers and olives. I've even stockpiled splits of Brachetto for nights when I feel like dessert! I especially enjoy a nice glass of champagne with a cool shrimp cocktail. Easiest solo dinner ever :)

                                                                                  1. Wow - never fails to amaze me how many people reserve champagne for the "special" or social occasions. I'm so happy to read posts from people like me who think that champagne is an everyday wine. I drink champagne more than any other wine and generally have a bottle at the ready. There's a difference for me in the level of champagne like any wine - the less expensive common stuff for the everyday and the more expensive special ones I've collected that are drunk for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. Get a champagne stopper and a regular size bottle will last a couple evenings. I've got them everywhere - in my kitchen, in my best friends kitchen, at the cabin, and in my backpack for travel. That way I can enjoy a bottle whenever I feel like it - like Saturday nite movie nite with champagne and popcorn.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: AlaskaChick

                                                                                      Great idea. I have one around the house, but do NOT have one in my wine travel kit. I have Vac-u-vin, plus a half-dozen stoppers, three wine openers, but no sparkler stopper. When a friend, or maybe the host at the inn we're staying at, gifts us a bottle, we spend a few hours plodding around the local wine shops, without any luck. I promise myself, that I'll pick up a handful this week, and fill all of our luggage with these, as well. Thanks for the prod.


                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                        I never thought of putting one in my luggage, either, but now one's going into the always-packed small zipped party bag along with the travel candles, the corkscrew, and, oh, other stuff...

                                                                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                          wow. you guys must check your luggage.

                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                            I usually travel with a carryon backpack and do miss not being able to pack my "wondertool" as we call the leatherman that all Alaskans must own because it has a corkscrew, knife blades, etc. But even without checking luggage, I still have the essentials - travel candles, aforementioned champagne stopper, travel chopsticks, and good tea. What I really miss is being able to carry on wine.

                                                                                    2. I try to have a bottle of sparkling wine at least several times a week, usually alone. Several glasses before and with dinner and the rest sipped afterward as I read a good book.

                                                                                      If I have a guest I always crack a bottle or three.

                                                                                      A few years ago I had a position as counselor on a luxury cruise ship based university that traveled around the world once each semester. I met my goal of a bottle of sparkling wine every day we were at sea and every day I was in a port where it was available. I think that out of every 100 day cruise I had around 90 bottles.

                                                                                      Last night I sipped a gorgeous apricot sparkling wine from a winery I partnered up with recently. Golden, complex, dry, but not excessively, earthy, with some fruit.