A luxury Champagne is used in all sorts of places, you will see it christening an ocean liner or a yacht. You will see it at weddings to drink, or as a Champagne wedding gift? And don’t forget it is the favourite tipple of James Bond. If someone has a successful book launch, what drink do they choose? Champagne of course and just Champagne. Champagne is an ever popular choice to drink at home and now that disposal incomes are rising, it
Champagne Means Celebration
For as long as we can remember the finer moments in life have always been celebrated with a fine Champagne, that being French Champagne of course. I feel the need to clarify this, should there be any American readers there is a clear difference between the two, both in terms of price and quality. So should you choose to buy your Champagne online make sure it is a French Champagne.
The American Champagne is legally called Champagne, and this is first myth I would like to dispel, that being that Champagne can only be called Champagne if it is made in the Champagne area. Unfortunately the American version is a poor relation as described in this article found in the Wall Street Journal.
Another topic in terms of Champagne is the bottomless Champagne brunch. Who doesn’t love the opportunity to drink a fine Champagne without it costing much? Here you just sit down, no need to purchase Champagne online and just drink away to your heart’s content. These are everywhere, and fair enough you don’t expect a luxury Champagne, or a fine Champagne, or even an expensive Champagne, your assumption would be that it is a cheap Champagne and certainly a French Champagne, but in the US the vast majority do not even serve you a French Champagne.
Fine Champagne Truths
1. The grapes needed to make a luxury Champagne grow better in the Champagne region than anywhere else, due in the most part to the unique terroir of the region. For a vineyard it is very northerly, with a climate that is wetter and certainly with a lower temperature than most. The grapes are well watered due to 200 days of rain per year, so next time you buy Champagne it will make a bit more sense why it is so good. Furthermore the region has vast amounts of chalk and limestone under the soil, which absorbs a great deal of soil resulting in there being a kind of reservoir when there is a drought.
2. The land that the vineyards grow on is the most expensive real estate of this sort on the planet, with a value of roughly one million euros for an acre. one drawback however, is that due to regulations from the government, no more than 2% of the Champagne region can be covered with vineyards. So next time you choose to purchase Champagne online and you think it is an expensive Champagne, you will know more about the costs of it all.
3. There exists a great deal of rules in relation to the density of the yield per acre of vineyards, as this has a direct effect on the quality of the fruit. The rules govern the manner in which the grapes are grown, and even the pruning of the vines! Those who farm the vineyards must have certain qualifications and have a certificate just to grow the crops. Lastly the grapes have to be hand-picked in order to reduce damage. The fact that Champagne comes with a premium price should make a bit more sense now.
4. All the grapes that are used in the production of the fine Champagne must be grown in vineyards that have been designated by AOC, and of course must be located within the Champagne-Ardennes area. So when you purchase your Champagne, you can do so with full confidence that numerous regulations must have been followed.
5. Only seven types of grape are allowed for the production of Champagne although some of them are very rare indeed, the usual ones are Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Next time you buy Champagne online, check the grapes to see which ones have been used.
6. Grapes are initially fermented into the still wines that we are all familiar with today. It is the next stage that makes Champagne what it is, just Champagne and nothing else compares. As the yeast consumes sugar the process produces carbon dioxide, which in turn forms the bubbles we all love. This process is the second fermentation and this occurs in the bottle, and this is what makes Champagne the drink it is. If you decide to buy Prosecco online, bear in mind the bubbles are added afterwards, the quality and natural processes here is what attracts people to purchase Champagne online.
7. French regulations state that a non-vintage Champagne must have been aged for 15 months or more, a vintage must have been aged for 3 years. An average producer will likely double these guidelines.
It is quite likely that there is no other product anywhere on the planet that is guarded by as many regulations as you get in the production of a fine Champagne. The end result is that the quality of the overall end product is so high that it is very rare indeed to find an average Champagne, they will typically be a fine Champagne or a luxury Champagne.
The general perception of Champagne from the public reflects this as people know that a fine Champagne may well be an expensive Champagne, and that the quality of the drink is consistently high. The combination of a multitude of factors are evident in that the Champagne is of a great quality. It is the terroir, the vineyards, the processes, the tradition, and all in all you have the best drink in the world.
Champagne Around The World
For the consumer it would be much easier if the French Champagne were the only Champagne in the world. Certain countries however, have refused to accept that geographic link to the drink and produce a cheap Champagne equivalent of the French version. These countries are Argentina, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, United States and Kazakhstan. So if you choose to buy Champagne in any of these countries, please beware as it might not be the fine Champagne you were expecting!
Champagne Purchasing Summary
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