If you make wines at home, you possess the necessary equipment to make champagne. Don’t assume that starting early in the day guarantees a glass of bubbly by evening. Champagne takes months to make.
Things You'll Need
Find a cool room such as a basement wine cellar to work in. Set up a wine holder and riddling rack in the room. Tie a 4-by-4 inch piece of cheesecloth around a bottle brush and set the brush aside.
Mix 6 cups each of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the large glass decanter. These are the base wines that produce the finished champagne. Cover the decanter and allow it to rest for 2 days in the cool room.
Pour the base wine into a heavy glass bottle and seal it with a cork. Return the bottle to the cool room and let it rest on its side in a wine rack for 3 months. Turn the bottle every 2 or 3 days to allow proper blending. This allows the base wine to undergo the fermentation that turns it into champagne.
Remove the bottle from the wine holder after the three month resting period and place it in the riddling rack. Observe the amount of yeast sediment that collects at the bottle’s neck. When it appears that the yeast cells have not increased, it is time to remove the collected sediment. This can take up to 4 weeks.
Take the bottle off the riddling rack and hold it right side up. Release the cap slowly and carefully. Use the bottle brush covered with cheesecloth to gently rub the inside neck of the bottle, removing all the yeast sediment. Discard the cheesecloth and pour the wine into a second heavy glass bottle.
Add your choice of one cup of aged wine to the new bottle along with extra fine sugar to taste. Pour the champagne into the empty champagne bottle. Use the wire net to seal the cork firmly, preventing pressure within the bottle from pushing the cork off. The champagne may be served immediately or allowed to age further.
The amount of sugar you add depends upon the desired style of champagne, ranging from a dry brut, with almost no sugar, to a sweet sec.