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.

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