Identifying Different Types of Champagne

Identifying Different Types of Champagne

There is a fine line that can be drawn between champagne and sparkling wine. While sparkling wine can come from anywhere in the world, champagne can only come from the Northern France region of Champagne. The fizzy cocktail comes in many varieties, but it is not as hard to tell them apart as you may think. There are a few ways you can identify the subtle differences in this increasingly popular drink.

Non-Vintage Champagne

Non-vintage champagne is made every single year by producers, whether the harvest is good or bad. When poured into a glass, this brand’s bubbles dissipate quickly and will have a very distinct taste of citrus flavors. Honeysuckle and candied orange peel will cover your tongue with its acidic backbone and it comes from a different blend of wines.

Vintage Champagne

Vintage champagne is different than non-vintage in the sense that it is only produced in years that are considered to have a very good harvest. To give the champagne its complexity, only the current year’s grapes are used to produce this wine. Fermentation comes from the aging process when the wine is in close contact with the yeast, adding certain characteristics to the wine. When you open a bottle of vintage champagne, you will notice a more pronounced aroma of yeast on your nose and it will have a strong breadiness taste to it.

Tete de Cuvee, or Prestige Champagne

This is the best wine that a champagne producer will yield. Tete de Cuvee means Head Of The Year and these fine wines are only made every three to four times in a decade, during exceptional years only. Brands such as Dom Perignon carry this prestigious title and if you have ever had a glass of Dom, you will notice that the bubbles are much smaller and will linger for a considerable period of time. Prestige champagnes have a scent that is reminiscent of ripe peaches and fresh baked bread. These wines are also aged for a longer time in order to mature them beyond any other vintage brands.

Rose Champagne

There are several champagne houses that produce Rose Champagne. Since two of the grapes used to make this wine are red, exposure to the skins of these grapes are all that is needed to produce a Rose Champagne. The smooth citrus scent will heighten your sense of smell when you open a bottle of Rose, and you will notice a strong peach and under-ripened strawberry aroma accompanied by mild yeast tones.

Becoming a champagne connoisseur isn’t as difficult as it once seemed to be. Distinction among the various wines is rather easy to dictate once you know what to look out for. So, the next time you are in the wine aisle and are looking for a good bottle of celebratory champagne, you will now be equipped to make an educated and informed decision.

The Busiest Times of Year for Purchasing Champagne

the-busiest-times-of-year-for-purchasing-champagne

Champagne, a type of sparkling wine produced from grapes from the Champagne region of France, is among the most recognizable drinks in the world. It is used across the globe in times of celebration, and is often seen as an indulgent and luxurious beverage. With that being sad, it should come as no surprise that champagne is particularly popular during certain times of the year. In fact, champagne sales and consumption dip and peak throughout the 12-month calendar year, but their popularity always takes over during periods of significant celebration and, in particular, romance.

The Winter Holidays

New Year’s Eve is the biggest day for the consumption of champagne across the United States and in Europe, as well. Champagne toasts have become synonymous with ringing in the new year. According to experts, 360 million glasses of champagne are served across the United States on New Year’s eve. Many of those glasses are used for midnight toasts. According to restaurateurs, they do not sell as many individual bottles of champagne to table as many people would expect.

Christmas and Thanksgiving are also fairly popular holidays for champagne, as well. According to experts, champagne is a popular gift, as well as a popular drink during the holiday season. The same is true for Thanksgiving, which also has hardy champagne sales in the week leading up to the holiday.

Valentine’s Day

The week leading up to Valentine’s day sees a balloon in sales for champagne and other sparkling beverages. According to experts, about 1.6 million bottles of champagne are sold during Valentine’s day. While the numbers trail that of New Year’s Eve and Thanksgiving,it is all relative. According to experts, sales of champagne dip heavily after New Years, spike again during Valentine’s day, the drop off once again until wedding season approaches. Valentine’s day is trumped only by the winter holiday’s in champagne sales.

Wedding Season

While, pound for pound, New Year’s eve and Valentine’s day, utilize the most bubbly out of any single calendar day, it can be argued that the wedding season is the biggest season for champagne consumption, and, thus sales. Running from early April, through early October, the wedding season kicks off quickly, but lulls in the deep summer months, only to pick back up in September, when temperatures begin to dip again. Wedding season, as many insiders call it, puts a premium on venues, photographers, and even florists, so it would stand to reason that the season, packed with love and commitment,would be a huge time for champagne sales and usage.

Most weddings include, at the very least, a champagne toast. When wedding season officially is, however, differs based on location. For example, in the east, it begins a bit later, often in May, but in the South it begins in March and lulls during the oppressive heat of July and August.

When to Buy

While champagne sales have their peak, buying champagne,for the most part, is a relatively easy process and is a simply transaction regardless of the time of year. If you, however, are searching for a particular vintage, brand or style of champagne, it is best to head into the store you are shopping at at least two weeks before you need the item, to ensure it is either in stock, or can be ordered in time for your celebration or romantic evening. Dealing with retailers directly may yield you the best results in finding a particular vintage.