Champagne: The Drink of Celebration

With its distinctive pop of its cork, Champagne is by far, the most luxurious and celebrated spirits to come out of Northern France. The rich history of Champagne goes back nearly three hundred years, to the historic Champagne region of France, where it was discovered, or rather, invented by a Benedictine monk, Dom Perignon, who was the chief winemaker of an abbey. The technique he perfected for making sparkling wine was called Method Champenoise, which captured bubbles in the bottle by using the process of double fermentation. A single bottle of Champagne can have as many as forty-nine million bubbles.

Champagne, made from grapes, is famous for its bubbly effervescence which is produced by a chemical reaction between the booze and the bottle. Champagne grapes aka the Black Corinth grape is in fact, the smallest variety of all seedless grapes. But the Black Corinth grape is not the exclusive grape for Champagne, there are also red and green varieties as well, though very uncommon. What makes the Corinth grapes so special is that they have absolutely no seed development at all, as compared with other seedless varieties, which produce seeds that eventually abort.

Technically, it is the only “Sparkling wine” that can be referred to and labeled as Champagne because it is produced in the Champagne region of France. In most parts of the world, it is either referred to as “bubbly” or “sparkling wine.” The Spanish call it Cava, while Italy’s famous bubbles are Prosecco and Moscatod’Asti. And the French themselves refer to all sparkling wines produced outside the region of Champagne as “Cremant”.

Champagne Types

The beauty of champagne is in its remarkable diversity of styles, which seem to come out from different corners of the world. While different types of Champagne can be made by the same vintner, for instance, non-vintage, blanc de blancs, brut, and rosé. The branding, however, is different and meets different price points. This means that every bottle of champagne has to carry an indication of the brand owner, such as, NM, RM, RC, CM, SR, ND and MA.

Champagne Brands

There are several respected Champagne brands around, for example, the premium vintage Champagne brand, Dom Pérignon by Moët et Chandon, which also produces Domaine Chandon. Two of the most famous names which comes to mind today are Moet & Chandon and Nicolas Feuillatte, while some others include, the sturdy Bollinger, Taittinger, Louis Roederer and the luxecuvées from Krug. For the calorie conscious grad, there are 69 calories in 3.5 oz of Prosecco, while Champagne has 87 calories.

The pop of a Champagne bottle sends tingles down the spine of many a many a wine enthusiast. Nowadays, the U.S., Australia, Italy, Spain and New Zealand, all give France a run for its money by producing some fine sparkling wines of their own, which can be bought at highly competitive prices.

Traditional Glass Types for Champagne

Flutes – The tall narrow glasses, with long stem apparently look like a flute. Champagne flutes are commonly used in formal dinners and restaurants.

Tulips – Tulips apparently look flutes, but they have a wider inward rim. Unlike flutes, tulips can capture the flavor of the champagne for a longer period.

Coupes – Also known as champagne saucers, coupes have short stem and wide bowl. They are the oldest type of champagne glasses, but due to large surface area, the aroma and flavor of the champagne can escape way too quickly. This is the reason that coupes were replaced by flutes.