Champagne: A Useful Wine Guide

Is all Sparkling Wine Champagne?

Photo by Steve Daniel on Unsplash

How Does Champagne Get Its Bubbles?

What does Champagne taste like?

Image courtesy of Comité de Champagne

The Oxidative Style

The Reductive Style

Is Champagne Dry or Sweet?

  • “Brut nature” contains zero dosage and less than 3 grams sugar per litre
  • Extra Brut (less than 6 grams of sugar per litre)
  • Brut (less than 12 grams)
  • Extra Dry (between 12 and 17 grams)
  • Sec (between 17 and 32 grams)
  • Demi-sec (between 32 and 50 grams)
  • Doux (50 grams)

Does Champagne Come in Pink (Rosé)?

What is NV Champagne?

Why does Champagne age so well?

Why is Champagne so expensive?

  • Champagne is a tricky region to grow grapes in, so yield on grape harvests are low.
  • Champagne undergoes two fermentations which are time consuming to implement.
  • Rosé Champagne usually costs a little more — both because it’s popular and because it utilizes even more labor during production.
  • Champagne houses producing NV wine store old Champagne for blending.
  • Champagne must age for at least 15 months, so storage costs are high, too.
  • Champagne bottles are taxed by US Customs upon arrival (current high tariffs on French wine are compounding the matter).
  • High-volume producers can charge less for their wares, though they often don’t. There are two good reasons:
  • Protecting their brand. For example, Veuve Clicquot “Yellow Label” costs more than Moet & Chandon Brut, of similar quality and production.
  • These producers often are buying fruit from other vineyards rather than growing all of their own. This is an additional cost.
  • Vintage Champagne is only created in exceptional years, so these gems cost even more.
  • Champagne is highly-prized by collectors, so collectible Vintages of superlative houses get dizzyingly high prices assigned to them by the market.

What is Luxury Champagne?

  • An old vintage gets really popular
  • A famed Chateau offers special bottlings
  • A famous person starts drinking it notoriously

Champagne comes in fun sizes!

Image courtesy of Moët & Chandon

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Jessyca Frederick

Jessyca Frederick

Writer of Useful Wine Guides at

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