Serving a glass of champagne at the start of a party or banquet is a time-honoured way of welcoming guests and getting things off to a sparkling start.
by Beacon Supplier Lockhart
Once upon a time, it was all about the champagne. It was the only way to greet guests, the tipple of choice for the connoisseur of fizz. Until recently when the modern party-goer’s discovered champagne’s Italian relative – Prosecco.
Did you know?
Only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne and this exclusiveness is reflected in the price you will pay for even the cheapest brands.
But the big trend in the market in the last 12 months has been the huge rise in sales of Italian ‘Prosecco’ up by almost 40% and flying off the shelves.
Fans of fizz are realising that champagne is not the only option. A variety of other sparkling wines from around the world can taste just as good, if not better, than cheaper Champagnes and can help maximise the profit margins when hosting parties or banquets on a fixed price per head basis.
‘Cava’ from Spain has long been established as a very acceptable alternative to more expensive French champagnes but the big trend in the market has to be Italian ‘Prosecco’. Not only are there now champagne bars popping up in the trendiest of suburbs but also Prosecco bars are appealing to the fans of fizz. Sales of own-brand Prosecco through the major supermarket chains have grown by over 90% underlining the growing willingness of British consumers to embrace Italian sparkling wines in preference to Champagne.
But presentation is still key and to maximise the opportunity that sparkling wines can offer, it can only be served in stylish glasses oozing sophistication so the drinker takes pleasure not just from the bubbles but also from the art of delivery.
And the only thing to complement the bubbles – the canapés. Hugely popular from modern mini dishes to a homage to the 1970’s favourites with a twist, presentation perfection is key.
There are now canapé dishes designed to also hold a glass and overcome that age-old party dilemma of not enough hands.
The details – how much is needed?
For banqueting use a smaller volume glass to get up to 10 glasses from a 75cl bottle. Sparkling wine sold by the glass must be in measured volumes of 125, 175 or 250ml. For bottle service, serve with larger glasses which will encourage the diners to finish a bottle quicker and order more!
Which shape of glass to use?
The champagne saucer or coupe has been more popular in recent years as it was easier to refill the glass, but the broad surface does mean that the sparkling wine loses its carbonation more quickly . The enclosed shape of the modern champagne flute helps to preserve the bubbles and delivers the aroma straight to the nose.
And as a final touch – forget ice..it’s just not done with fizz. But to keep that glass of bubbles icy cold – and look bang on trend, add either frozen grapes or frozen raspberries. They add interest and intrigue, look fabulous – and provide an extra taste sensation once the bubbles have been quaffed.
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