Fake it 'til you make it. Once you make it, drink Champagne. It's the original sparkling wine and the one with the most esteemed legacy. And it's got the price tag to match. To be officially labeled Champagne, the grapes and wine must be grown and produced in the Champagne region of France using the Classic Method. Or the Methodé Champenoise if your pronunciation of French is better than ours. It's an expensive process that drives up the price, but the main thing to know is that the wine transforms from still to sparkling entirely within the bottle.
Raisins to the Rescue:
Celebrations are fun. Sometimes too fun. If things get crazy and you forget to finish a bottle, your Champagne isn't necessarily doomed. You can revive it with raisins. Yes. Raisins. Drop one in the bottle to restore flat Champagne to its natural, party-starting state, give or take a few bubbles. We don't know what the science is behind it, and, frankly, we don't care to find out.
Put Down the Knife:
Why don't you go ahead and skip the opening-Champagne-with-a-knife trick. (It's called "sabering" if you want to get technical.) In theory, it's a great way to impress guests. But a floor full of shattered glass and a few bloody fingers don't lead to the story you were hoping for. We've got the scars to prove it.
The dry, high-acidity nature of Champagne makes it a great fit for shellfish (think raw bar), soft cheeses, pickled veggies or fried, crispy appetizers. Champagne also makes a fantastic pairing for rich, buttery desserts.