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Northern Ireland bishops urge MLAs to reject abortion legislation

In a letter addressed to the Members of the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly (MLA), the country’s bishops express their concern over the "extreme" nature of Westminster’s Regulations regarding a new law decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland. Ahead of the...

Bishop hails key workers as the ‘new icons of esteem’

Speaking in his homily during the latest weekly Mass for the sick, their families, care workers and NHS staff, Bishop of Middlesbrough Terence Drainey said he believed the increasing desire to foster the common good seen in recent months will last beyond the current...

Pope asks consecrated virgins to help the poor, stand up for justice

Women who have discerned a call to consecrate their virginity to God in service to the Church must be living signs of God's love in the world, especially where too many people live in poverty or suffer from discrimination, Pope Francis said. "Be women of mercy,...

Healing people more important than the economy, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis said on Sunday that healing people was "more important" than the economy, as countries around the world continue to ease lockdown restrictions. The Pope made his first address from his window overlooking St Peter's Square in three months. Many thronged to...

Seven sparkling wine facts that you will surprise you

Fizz fanatics will find these facts surprising, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

The world of fizz is in a very good place, especially when you consider we’re quaffing bubbles in the billions.

Sparkle has soared in popularity with more than 2.3 billion bottles produced each year and while sparkling wine can be produced anywhere in the world, champagne can only come from France’s Champagne region.

They can be dry and very sweet. They can be translucent, straw yellow, copper pink and ravishing red. They can be made in the traditional champagne method, when the wines have undergone a second fermentation in the bottle; or the tank method, used for prosecco which takes place in a closed stainless steel tank.

What we certainly know is the sound of corks popping calls for a celebration, so how about these fun fizzy fact.

  1. The tyre pressure of a double decker bus is the equivalent to a bottle of sparkling wine. On average, there are 250 million bubbles in a bottle of sparkling wine, the same as a double decker bus tyre.
  2. There are seven styles of fizz, and it’s all down to the sweetness.
    Whether it’s champagne, cava, cremant, prosecco or English sparkling wine, there are seven levels of sweetness when it comes to fizz. Brut Nature/Zero equates to less than 3g of sugar. Extra Brut is very dry with zero to 6g. Brut, the classic (more than 90% of all champagnes are made as Brut), up to 12g. Extra Dry/Sec (12-17g) is the one that fools us into thinking it’s dryer, but in fact sweeter. Sec (17-32g) tastes rounded and rich and pairs well with gourmet dishes, while Demi-Sec (32-50g) is sweet. Doux (more than 50g), very sweet.
  3. You can get vegan varieties of fizz. There are vegan friendly fizzes out there, it’s just a case of sniffing them out. Top drops include Moet & Chandon and Piper Heidsieck, but if you’re after a more affordable option, Mionetto prosecco is vegan friendly.
  4. The largest champagne bottle in the world is named after a biblical king. We love our mini moments, especially 20cl gift sets with bows and straws. But how about when you trade up from a magnum (150cl) to a Midas, for a whopping £42,000? The equivalent to 40 standard 75cl bottles of champagne, according to Greek mythology everything King Midas touched turned to gold and who better to create this unique format than Champagne Armand de Brignac, with their gold lacquered Ace of Spades.
  5. Franciacorta is Italy’s answer to champagne. Our love of prosecco from the Veneto region is well storied but did you know that Franciacorta from Lombardy is the country’s top drop and Ca’ del Bosco andCastello Bonomi make some of the best.
  6. Quavers or champers?
    The average 125ml glass of sparkle contains 89 calories, the equivalent to a multipack bag of Quavers.
  7. Flutes are so passe. A tulip shaped wine glass is the best shape to bring out the delicate aromas and flavours of a fun fizz, or complexity and toastiness of a
    vintage champagne.
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OTHER NEWS

Northern Ireland bishops urge MLAs to reject abortion legislation

In a letter addressed to the Members of the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly (MLA), the country’s bishops express their concern over the "extreme" nature of Westminster’s Regulations regarding a new law decriminalising abortion in Northern Ireland. Ahead of the...

Bishop hails key workers as the ‘new icons of esteem’

Speaking in his homily during the latest weekly Mass for the sick, their families, care workers and NHS staff, Bishop of Middlesbrough Terence Drainey said he believed the increasing desire to foster the common good seen in recent months will last beyond the current...

Pope asks consecrated virgins to help the poor, stand up for justice

Women who have discerned a call to consecrate their virginity to God in service to the Church must be living signs of God's love in the world, especially where too many people live in poverty or suffer from discrimination, Pope Francis said. "Be women of mercy,...

Healing people more important than the economy, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis said on Sunday that healing people was "more important" than the economy, as countries around the world continue to ease lockdown restrictions. The Pope made his first address from his window overlooking St Peter's Square in three months. Many thronged to...