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The Top 10 Things You Absolutely Need To Know About Champagne

Before exploring the fantastic world of Champagne make sure you are familiar with some key information prior to your trip. Maybe you’re already familiar with the basics, but once you might learn something fresh!

1. Champagne Is A Wine

It’s like saying the obvious, however often Champagne is considered to be a distinct entity from still wines. In fact 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 the highly protected, legally designated designations of origin ensure that the Champagne’s authenticity is secure from corner-cutting.

2. It’s Only Made In Champagne, France

Of course, most people are aware that Champagne is a product of France. But, over the years, Champagne had a difficult time competing with other sparkling wines who would make use of its name and reputation to market 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 extends into neighbouring regions too.

Importantly, to differentiate between both, the champagne drink uses the masculine aspect of the French language (le Champagne) where-as the region itself is feminine (la Champagne).

The mentioned Appellation assures that sparkling wine is only known as Champagne when it is made within the strict 35,000 hectare (84,000 acres) area. In addition the Interprofessional Committee of Champagne Wine or CIVC enforces this in the United States and around the world.

Learn all you can about the region as well as its climate, and its geography by reading our in-depth Champagne map guide.

3. It’s made with both black and White Grapes

It is believed that the Champagne area has been producing white wine using wine grapes that are red since in the Middle Ages. It was initially made during the peak of their fierce competition with Burgundian neighbors. Burgundy reds were deep in hue, while Champagne’s attempts were typically weaker or pink.

As Dom Perignon came onto the scene in the 16th century and he, in turn developed these methods. To make the clear, white wines from grapes that were black they were quickly pressed and gently to stop the skins from becoming macerated with the juice.

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

4. It’s blended (Most Of the All The)

Outside of France In other countries, it’s fairly 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 however, this region has always been first because it is an marker of a wine’s authenticity.

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

In the same way to the previous point, several Champagnes mix their wine grapes in the manner discussed in the preceding section to make unique flavours. But, unlike similar wine they blend the seasons.

A Champagne blend can include up to 30 or 50 harvests of different vineyards, villages, and vintages. All of this is done in order to guarantee that every time you pour that house’s Champagne you will definitely taste exactly the identical.

But, there are certain exceptions. For example you can find Vintage Champagnes as well as blends which employ one color of grape. Go here to learn more about the various types of Champagne!

5. Champagne is fermented twice.

Contrary to Prosecco and other Cavas Champagne is subject to intense periods of fermentation and maturation. While Prosecco does not leave the autoclave pressurised stainless steel vat until it is ready to be bottled, 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 resting wine then gets bottle-aged using a mixture of sugar and yeast which is sealed by an alcohol cap. As it ages within the bottle yeast and sugar chemically interact and create gas. This causes the sparkling.

Champagnes age for around 12 months or more like this, but they undergo additional procedures 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 simple guide.

6. It’s drinkable straight And Enjoy It

Certain wines may be stored for years after being stored in bottles. A lot of them will remain inside the cellars collectors and traders for many years before they are opened. Through this period they will accumulate the complexity and value.

In Champagne they approach it in a different way. Instead, Champagne is kept in the cellar of the home and sealed with the cap of a bottle until it has been aged to perfection. When they feel it is acceptable to offer their wines for sale. 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, there is no need to. If you own an uncorked bottle, why sit and miss out on the enjoyment? Be sure to serve your Champagne in a proper manner and at the proper temperature!

7. It Can Be Diet-Friendly

The general rule is that drinking fine alcoholic drinks is not a good idea for those eating a strict diet. It’s a wonder that some Champagnes are sugar-free? In addition in contrast to Diet Coke, it’s 100 percent natural and slightly more refined!

8. It was discovered accidentally

In spite of two widely held, yet contradicting opinions, sparkling wine was not created through Benedictine Monk Dom Perignon, nor English scientist Christopher Merret. Both played a major role in shaping Champagne into the wine it is now.

In actual fact this phenomenon called sparkling wine first discovered accidentally in the middle age in Saint Hilaire Abbey. There were other Benedictine monks in the vicinity of Carcassone began to realize that the wine that was bottled after being fermented in oak barrels often developed bubbles.

9. The British Love Champagne

In fact in reality, the French exported record 34 million champagne bottles into the UK in the year 2015. Apart from the French who purchased 162 million bottles of their own and the British consume more champagne than any other nation.

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

10. It’s not always expensive

The big houses could dominate the market and export largest amount of their products for consumption overseas. However, within the official 320 Champagne villages there are 300 major Champagne houses and 15800 producers.

The sheer number implies that there are plenty of unknown and obscure Champagnes there, waiting for their chance to shine. In addition, due to their brands not yet gaining popularity, they could be extremely affordable! For instance, good bottles are available just $15 EUR (18 dollars) while vintage Champagnes can be purchased for as low as twenty EUR (24 dollars).