Champagne

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Champagne is one of the world’s best known wines, even though it is only produced in a tiny and obscure region in Northern France.

Its signature bubbles and distinctive taste are firm favourites with wine connoisseurs and novices alike, but what makes Champagne truly great, is its ability to unify, drawing the occasion together – even if they prefer beer, ale, spirits or a soft drink.

A Champagne toast is more than a drink, but the universal symbol to mark a special event!

And it is because of its iconography, that Champagne has historically been imitated by thousands of vineyards in hundreds of countries all over the world.

The business of ensuring the origin of each bottle and its quality costs the region of Champagne millions of Euros each year.

Since the Treaty of Versailles after the First World War, it is officially illegal to name any other bottle of wine, sparkling or otherwise – Champagne.

The French are incredibly precious about this fact, and even in cases where the wine region is similarly named – for example, Champagne in Switzerland – they are not allowed to label any wine they produce Champagne.


Producing the Best Bubbles

Methode Champenoise, is the traditional method in which Champagne is made, and is key in creating this wine’s signature effervescence and alcoholic kick.

The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are fermented and bottled once and then afterwards fermented a second time, which gives the wine its unique flavour.

By adding more yeast and a second dose of sugar, the wine can then completely develop in flavour.

With each vineyard holding its own secret recipe, this is how each vintage and champagne producer creates their own signature style.

What makes Champagne unique is this method of production – commonly known as an appellation.

The French appellation ensures that every champagne vineyard use the same types of grapes, growing methods and fermentation techniques, which means that the quality and style continues to remain as the highest standard – above another sparkling wine – in the world.

With the larger, and more iconic Champagne houses producing beautiful vintages year on year, there is still plenty of room in for some the smaller vineyards to impress with their unique styles Champagne, that can all be picked up for far more modest prices.

Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur NV

Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur NV is a reasonable bottle, made in the Aÿ region of Champagne, France.

Perfect for celebrations which need something special, the Ayala Brut Majeur is crisp and light, but leans more heavily on its fruity notes, lending itself to a wider audience.

All in all, a brilliantly versatile sparkling wine, and priced at under 30 Euros per bottle, this is a modest price for a solid quality Champagne.

Moët & Chandon

Now, not considering your own personal preferences, you cannot do wrong with a Moët & Chandon of any vintage from the last fifty years.

Even Moët & Chandon bottles are pure iconography and everything from their design, their production, and their taste, truly brings home why this wine is considered one of the best in the world.

Drier than other vineyards, Moët bears tiny bubbles – which in itself is considered to mark a significant vintage – and leaves a zesty, light and dry taste on the palate, a truly clean Champagne, guaranteed to leave you refreshed and delighted.

It’s only downside might well be its mores quality, as the hardest part with all Champagne is to walk away after one fabulous glass.  

The History of Champagne

First produced and enjoyed during the medieval times, the world’s true appreciation for Champagne only came about around the 19th Century in France.

Originally far sweeter, it was only when the usual method of production was changed and the wine was left unsweetened, that Champagne’s popularity exploded, which was also the time when the wine was first exported to London, and became the very symbol of decadence and style amongst the upper-classes.

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Author

Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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