The famous sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France, about 90 miles north-east of Paris. Champagne is generally a blend of three grapes – two reds, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and the white being Chardonnay. It is made by a labour-intensive method known as methode Champenoise in which the secondary bubble-causing fermentation takes place inside each individual bottle. Made in a variety of sweetness levels, Champagnes range from bone-dry to sweet.
The most popular of these is Brut. The sweetness levels are as follows:
Extra Brut: very, very dry, O to .6% residual sugar.
Brut: dry, less than 1.5% residual sugar.
Extra Dry: off-dry, 1.2 to 2% residual sugar.
Sec: lightly sweet, 1.7 to 3.5% residual sugar.
Demi-Sec: quite sweet, 3.3 to 5% residual sugar
Doux: sweet, more than 5% residual sugar.
Most Champagne firms make at least three categories of wine: non-vintage, vintage, and prestige. The vast majority of the Champagne produced each year is designated non-vintage (that is, the blend may contain wines from several different vintages). The wines in a vintage Champagne come only from the year designated on the label.
I am passionate about wine, history and art. As an experienced wineo, I have deep respect for those who have the skills to blend art and science into a bottle of great wine; I truly don’t know how a vintner can possibly tango with Mother Nature all year...
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