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Dec 29

Champagne 101

by Angela

There are a lot of different sparkling wines out there in the wine world and which one is the right one for your celebratory New Years drink?

First off not all sparkling wines are champagne. The only sparkling wines that are actually champagnes are the ones that come from the region of Champagne in France. (unless you’re one of the few California wineries that have been around for over 50+ years that got grandfathered in…whatever) Everything else is sparkling wine.

Different countries have different names for their sparkling. Spain calls their wine Cava, Italy calls theirs Prosecco, and you might also see Spumante.

What is the difference between all of the different types? Let’s break it down:

Champagne is a dry sparkling wine usually made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and/or Pinot Meunier grapes.   The different types are Cuvee, Extra Dry, Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noir, Rose, and Brut.

  • Cuvee means means blend usually the perfect blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes or another grape has been added
  • Extra Dry isn’t the driest. It means semi-dry sparkling
  • Blanc de Blanc means white of white which is 100% Chardonnay grapes
  • Blanc de Noir means white from dark. Champagne is pressed from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a mix of the two.
  • Rose is using the dark grapes and the skins get left on for a small part of the fermentation period which makes it a rose color
  • Brut is the driest Champagne you can get

With all that said, most sparkling wines are going to be a little on the dry side. Most Prosecco, Cava, Rose, and extra dry  Champagnes will have the same dry consistency like a Chardonnay but will have a hint of sweet at the end. California sparkling wines and Brut tend to me more drier like a red wine.

  • If you’re a Riesling/Moscato/Sweet Red drinker you’re most likely going to like an Asti Spumante, a Sparkling Moscato, Pink Moscato, or Moscato de Spumante.
  • If you’re a Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio/Sauvignon Blanc/Pinot Noir (or a light red) drinker you’re most likely going to like a Prosecco, Cava, Cuvee, Rose, Extra Dry
  • If you’re a Cabernet Sauvignon/Zinfandel/Syrah/Dry White Wine you’re most likely a Blanc de Blanc, Brut, Brut Rose, Blanc de Noir

I will be hosting a free wine tasting at Liquor City Bakewell today and tomorrow from 4 – 8 and we will be tasting Champagnes, Sparkling wines, and Moscato. Stop on by during those hours anytime and I’ll help you choose the right sparkling for you.

Cheers,
Angela

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Posted by Angela at 1:58 pm in Wine Glossary, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (1)

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