Champagne is simply the essential beverage to serve at any celebration or occasion. But how do you know which is the best choice to honor a specific event? Check out these top Champagne selection tips to make you look like a true connoisseur.
If the bottle you are buying is not produced in the Champagne region of France, it is not Champagne but sparkling wine. Although there are some awesome sparkling wines available on the market to rival even the best types of Champagne, if you want the real thing, it must come from this region.
There are also differences in quality, taste and other factors depending where in the region the Champagne has been produced. Take this into account when selecting the perfect bottle.
- A Matter of Taste
Taste is purely dependent on personal preference. It is a simple matter of reading the label to ascertain whether a specific bottle contains sweet, dry, fruit, berry or other types of taste classifications. Other taste factors that you should consider are smoothness, creaminess and crispness.
- A Matter of Style
Champagne style refers to the type of grapes that are used and how they are combined. There are only 3 types of grapes that are used in production – Chardonnay (white), Pinot Noirs (black) and Pinot Menieur (red).
Standard Champagne uses a combination of all three types of grapes and is referred to as Blanc but the name may not always appear on the label. Blanc de Blanc uses only white grapes. Blanc de Noir uses white and black grapes. Pink Champagne or Rosé is Blanc variety of bubbly with a dash of red wine added to provide a more raspberry or strawberry flavor. The red wine (Pinot Noir or Pinot Menieur) is normally produced on the same region and created specifically for this purpose.
- A Matter of Age
There are two basic classifications for Champagne age – Vintage and Non-Vintage. Non-Vintage has a shorter ageing period of at least 15 months. Vintage has been aged for at least 36 months.
Some seasons produce a better harvest than others meaning that Champagnes produced in that year are of a better quality. If the harvest is good, the producer may increase the ageing process to produce a special or select vintage. These special vintages have a creamier texture.
- A Matter of Cost
There is simply not way to get around it, good Champagne is expensive. However, there are some factors that will increase the cost of a bottle:
– The producer.
– The region.
– The production process.
– The vintage.
It is important to note that the most expensive Champagne is not always the best choice. It is still important to weigh up the requirements for the champagne, personal preference and cost.
It should also be noted that this beverage simply is not too everyone’s taste, especially the drier varieties. If you are at all unsure regarding which Champagne is best to buy, it is advisable to stick with the most popular options.