Champagne and Sparkling Wine – What to Know

Champagne has been the go-to drink of celebration for centuries. Recently, sparkling wine has also become a popular alternative to champagne. Here we explore the key differences between these two beverages, as well as which one is best to enjoy on any occasion.

What is Champagne?

Champagne is a dry and alcoholic wine that is produced in a specific region of France, in the northeastern part of the country. It is made from grapes that are grown specifically in this region, with production methods that are also unique to this region.  The primary grapes used in the production of Champagne include pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay.

What is Sparkling Wine?

Sparkling wine is a type of sparkling grape juice that is produced in different regions of the world, primarily in Europe and the United States. In most cases, this type of wine is produced by dissolving carbon dioxide (CO2) into low-quality juice, which removes most or all of the bubbles.

What is Champagne?

Unlike sparkling wine, champagne has not been produced with added CO2 to remove the bubbles. The best examples of champagne are produced by the Champagne house of Veuve Clicquot, in France. They produce about 1 million bottles a day, which is about 90% of the total production. In addition to being made from traditional grapes and produced in small batches, champagne must also meet strict standards for how it is stored when not being enjoyed, to ensure that it maintains its quality.

How is Champagne Made?

The process of making a quality bottle of champagne begins with the pressing of the grapes in September. The juice that is extracted is then fermented. During this time, the yeast naturally alters the taste profile of the liquid. Over time, this process will produce a quality bottle of champagne, but for optimal results and to improve on these natural flavors, blending different batches and vintages is necessary. Their master blender ensures that their bottles are an ideal blend to produce an outstanding product.