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It’s bubbly season and, yes, that means its time to bone up on bubbles. Take our pop quiz and share it with your fellow late night revelers on New Year’s Eve.

1. What is the best shaped glass or glasses to play up the complex aromas in bubbly?

A. The coupe, which according to legend, is the glass shaped like Marie Antoinette’s left breast.

B. The flute, because it’s best at preserving those delightful bubbles.

C. The wide tulip or a white wine glass –– take your pick.

D. B and C.

...

2. What can you do with flat bubbly?

A. Toss it out, even if your friends accuse you of having an uppity palate.

B. Make a boozy drink with it. Who doesn’t like a spritzy sangria?

C. Use it as a face toner, a hair rinse, or mix it with a little clay and voila, you have a face mask.

D. All of the above.

...

3. Why is Champagne more expensive than Prosecco?

A. Champagne is made in the Champagne region of France, while Prosecco is produced in Italy’s Veneto district.

B. Champagne is made in the expensive traditional method, while Prosecco is made in the inexpensive tank method.

C. Hold tight –– Alexa is researching this.

D. A and B.

...

4. How do you determine quality in Champagne?

A. Dryness versus sweetness

B. Complexity, pinpoint bubbles and crisp acidity.

C. The loudness and intensity of the “pop” when it opens

D. None of the above.

...

5. Who are some of the best known champagne drinkers from history?

A. Sir Winston Churchill, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Napoleon Bonaparte.

B. Coco Chanel, Madame de Pompadour, Charles Dickens.

C. Lord Byron, Honore de Balzac, Oscar Wilde.

D. All of the above.

...

6. What is a riddler?

A. A person in a traditional sparkling wine house who twists –– by hand –– as many as 40,000 bottles of bubbly every day.

B. A riddler is a person who turns the bottles to move the sediment toward the cork.

C. The name of a DC Comics villain, who is Batman’s adversary.

D. A and B

...

7. Was bubbly a mistake?

A. Heresy!

B. Yes. Those instrumental in Champagne’s beginnings, were not amused by the fizz and did everything they could to tame it.

C. No. The drink was made to take advantage of Champagne’s cool temperatures which would halt fermentation in the fall and unleash it again in the spring when the wines warmed up.

D. No one really knows how it started.

...

8. How can you make sure you’re buying top rate bubbly?

A. Only buy French Champagne.

B. Look for this wording on the label: “Traditional method” or “fermented in this bottle.”

C. Look for bottles $100 and up.

D. Stick with white versus pink.

...

9. Why do bubbly producers have to be visionaries?

A. They have to envision what the sparklers will taste like in three to seven years down the road with the evolution of bubbles, alcohol gain and dosage (sugar added).

B. They have to envision what champagne will taste like after 14 years of aging in a cool, dark cellar.

C. They have to gauge what upcoming spenders (older millennials) will fancy, as their tastes mature.

D. A and C.

10. What’s the best way to uncork bubbly?

A. Lay a chilled bottle on its side pointing away from the table, roll gently from side to side, and wait patiently.

B. Remove the wire casing and pop the cork with a thumb on either side, preferably outdoors.

C. Slowly allow for the cork’s release by loosening the wire casing with seven twists, and gently turning the bottle.

D. None of the above.

The answers

1. C: The wide Tulip or the white wine glass. The shape of these glasses best court complex aromas, and they include brioche, biscuit and yeast. While the flute preserves the bubble the best, it doesn’t play up the aromas nearly as well. Meanwhile the coupe, popular in the 1950s, is best for inexpensive bottlings because the bubbles are quickly dispensed, making the bubbly taste softer and fruitier.

2. D: All of the above. If flat bubbly annoys you, by all means toss it out. But if you’re an inventive type, have fun creating something new from a spritzy sangria to a splashy toner that’s good for the skin.

3. B: Champagne is made in the expensive traditional method, while Prosecco is made in a less-expensive tank method. In the traditional method, also known as Méthode Champenoise, bubbly is born right in the bottle during what is known as the secondary fermentation. Each bottle is its own winemaking vessel because it’s here where the yeast devours the sugar, releasing carbon dioxide that creates the bubbles.

4. B: While experts are all over the board when it comes to the details, most agree that three things are key – complexity, pinpoint bubbles and crisp acidity.

5. D: Champagne appeals to a range of palates.

6. D: A riddler is a person in a traditional sparkling wine house who twists –– by hand –– as many as 40,000 bottles of bubbly every day. This riddler turns the bottles to move the sediment toward the cork. The sediment collects during the secondary fermentation, and eventually it will be removed. Batman’s adversary is known as The Riddler.

7. B: Bubbly was born in Champagne, France at the end of the 17th century and for the longest time people considered this frothy wine a mistake. In fact, those instrumental in Champagne’s beginnings, were not amused by the fizz and did everything they could to tame it. The unassailable sparkle came about as a result of the Champagne region’s cool temperatures which would halt fermentation in the fall and unleash it again in the spring, when the wines warmed up. When the winemakers couldn’t win their war with the bubble, over time they decided to make peace with it, and ultimately celebrate it.

8. B: Look for this wording on the label: “Traditional method” or “fermented in this bottle” so you can find bottles that are made in the traditional method that Champagne is produced. If you see a label that says “Charmat Process,” beware. The sparkler’s secondary fermentation was in a big container or a tank and this process will create big soda pop bubbles, not to mention a less complex sparkler.

9. A: Bubbly producers have to be visionaries because they have to envision what the sparklers will taste like in three to seven years down the road with the evolution of bubbles, alcohol gain and dosage (sugar added).

10. C: Contrary to common belief, the best way to open a bottle of bubbly is not to pop the cork. It’s better to slowly allow for the cork’s release, achieving an ideal “sigh” as the cork exits the bottle.

Here are the steps: Remove the foil covering the cork. Loosen the wire casing. Hold the cork, within the wire casing, in the palm of one hand. Twist the bottle while holding the cork and the wire casing. The cork will come out of its own accord.

You can reach Wine Writer Peg Melnik at 707-521-5310 or peg.melnik@pressdemocrat.com.

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