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A Guide To Champagne

Before you venture into the amazing world of Champagne make sure you are familiar with some key information before you go. Maybe you’re already familiar with the basics, but once perhaps you’ll discover something that’s completely new in our Champagne guide!

1. Champagne Is A Wine

It may sound like saying the obvious, but in reality Champagne is considered to be a distinct entity from still wines. In reality Champagne is made from fermented grapes that are cultivated using the same methods as other wines.

But, Champagne is exceptional in the sense that it has to follow distinct methods to get its sparkling bubbles. The strict guidelines outlined by the appellation, together with a highly secure, officially certified designation of the origin guarantee that Champagne’s name is safe from corner cutting.

2. It’s Only Made In Champagne, France

Most people are aware that Champagne originates from France. But, over the years, Champagne was in conflict against other sparkling wines that would make use of its name and fame to promote their own.

Champagne is specifically the same region name located in north-eastern France 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Paris. But, the wine-producing region is a patchwork that extends across it and into neighboring regions as well.

Importantly, to differentiate between the two , the wine takes the masculine aspect of the French language (le Champagne) where-as the region itself is feminine (la Champagne).

The above Appellation assures that sparkling wine is only named Champagne when it is made within this specific 35,000 hectare (84,000 acres) area. In addition the Interprofessional Committee of Champagne Wine or CIVC enforces this in the United States as well as abroad.

Learn more about this region as well as its climate and geography , with our in-depth Champagne map guide.

3. It’s made from both Black and White Grapes

It is believed that the Champagne Region has been producing white wine using wine grapes that are red since in the Middle Ages. It was initially made during the height of their fierce competition with Burgundian neighbors. Burgundy reds were a rich color, whereas Champagne’s efforts were usually weaker, or even pink.

As Dom Perignon came onto the scene in the late 16th century and he, in turn enhanced these techniques. In order to create the clear, white wines from grapes that were black they were crushed quickly and gently to stop the skins from becoming macerated with the juice.

In the end Champagne is made of three main grape varieties. The most well-known black wine grape, is Pinot Noir, which is also utilized in Burgundy. However, they also make use of another grape that is black, Pinot Meunier and white grapes, Chardonnay. Learn more about these grapes with our Champagne guide to the grape.

4. It’s blended (Most Of the All The)

Outside of France It’s typical for the grapes to be mentioned on labels prior to or in lieu from the specific region. This is particularly prevalent for New World wines. While some French wines have been adapted to this trend but this region has always been first, as it’s an indication of a wine’s character.

But, in some cases, the grape isn’t mentioned since it has several varieties. For instance in Bordeaux the winemakers combine Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc amongst others.

In the same way to the previous point, numerous Champagnes combine their wines in the manner discussed in the preceding section to create unique flavors. Yet, unlike every another wine also blend the seasons.

A blend of Champagne could contain up to 30 to 50 different harvests from various vineyards, villages, and vintages. This is done to ensure that each time you pour that house’s Champagne you will definitely taste exactly the identical.

But, there are some exceptions. For example you can find champagnes that are vintage Champagnes as well as blends which employ one color of grape. Go here to learn more about the various varieties of Champagne!

5. Champagne is fermented twice.

Contrary to Prosecco and a few Cavas Champagne is subject to intense stages of maturation and fermentation. In contrast to Prosecco does not leave the autoclave pressurised stainless steel vat until it is bottled for sale, Champagne spends most of its time in bottles.

It is then fermented inside casks or in vats after the press, until no sugar remains. The remaining wine gets bottle-aged using a mixture of sugar and yeast, that is then sealed with the cap of a beer bottle. As it ages inside the bottle yeast and sugar chemically react and create gas. This causes the sparkling.

Champagnes should age around 12 months or more like this, however they go through other processes to ensure that they age correctly. But, there are some that will remain in storage for longer than they can be seen in the sunlight. Find out more about the process of making Champagne is made using our guide.

6. It’s drinkable straight And Enjoy It

Some wines will remain in bottle for decades after having been stored in bottles. A lot of them will remain within the cellars of collectors and traders for many years before they are opened. Through this period they build in complexity and worth.

But in Champagne they have a different approach. Instead, Champagne stays in the cellar of the house which is sealed by the cap of a bottle until it has been aged to perfection. When they feel it is appropriate to sell their wine. Once the time is right the cap is taken off and the wine is then corked.

While some drinkers prefer to age their Champagnes upon corking, you don’t need to. If you own an uncorked bottle, why sit and miss out on the enjoyment? Be sure to serve your Champagne correctly and at the correct temperature!

7. It Can Be Diet-Friendly

In general, drinking fine alcohol drinks is not a good idea while you are on a diet. It’s a wonder that some Champagnes are sugar-free? Additionally unlike Diet Coke, it’s 100 100% natural, and a little more refined!

8. It was discovered by accident

In spite of two widely held, yet contradicting opinions, sparkling wine was not created in the hands of Benedictine Monk Dom Perignon, nor English scientist Christopher Merret. However, both of them helped shape Champagne into the wine it is now.

In actual fact bubbly wine’s phenomenon was first discovered through accident in the middle age in Saint Hilaire Abbey. Others Benedictine monks living near Carcassone began to realize that wines bottled after fermentation in oak barrels often developed bubbles.

9. The British Love Champagne

In fact in reality, the French exported record breaking 34 million bottles of champagne to UK in the year 2015. In addition to the French who purchased 162 million bottles The British consume more champagne than any other nation.

In addition, some of the most sought-after Champagne houses also have the Royal Warrant granted by the British Royal Family. Krug, Bollinger and Moet & Chandon are, perhaps, the most well-known. However, the honor is due to GH Mumm, Laurent-Perrier, Pol Roger, Veuve Clicquot and Lanson.

10. It’s not always expensive

The biggest houses can dominate the market and export most to consumers in other countries. However, within the 332 official Champagne villages there are 300 main Champagne houses and 15,800 producers .

The sheer number implies that there are plenty of unknown and obscure Champagnes there, waiting to be found. In addition, due to their brands not yet gaining popularity, they could be very affordable! For instance, good bottles can be purchased just fifteen EUR (18 dollars) and vintage Champagnes are available for as low as $20 EUR (24 US dollars).