Everything You Need to Know About Champagne
When it comes to bubbly, few things can rival champagne. Associated with luxury, glamour, and celebration, champagne has been enjoyed by kings and queens, Hollywood celebrities, and everyday people for centuries. But what exactly is champagne? And how is it made? Read on to find out.
How Is Champagne Made?
Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that can only be made in the Champagne region of France. To be deemed champagne, a wine must adhere to strict standards set by the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), an organization that represents all of the growers and producers in the Champagne region.
These standards include:
- The grapes used to make champagne must be Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, or Chardonnay (or a blend of all three).
- The wine must be made using the traditional methode champenoise—a process that includes a second fermentation in the bottle.
- The wine must also undergo a minimum aging period of 15 months in the cellar before being released for sale.
There are three types of champagne: non-vintage, vintage, and rosé. Non-vintage champagne is a blend of wines from different vintages (years) and generally accounts for about 60 percent of all champagnes produced. Vintage champagnes, on the other hand, are made entirely from grapes harvested in a single exceptional year and are aged for at least three years before being released. Lastly, rosé champagnes get their pink hue from a small amount of still red wine that is added during blending.
Whether you enjoy it on special occasions or like to keep a bottle or two on hand for impromptu celebrations, there’s no doubt that champagne is a delicious way to add some sparkle to your life. Now that you know a bit more about this iconic beverage, we hope you’ll raise a glass and enjoy! Cheers!