An Introduction to Champagne: Things You Didn’t Know

An Introduction to Champagne: Things You Didn’t Know

The end of the year isn’t complete without bubbles, just like Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without turkey or candy. It is usual and expected. If so, why?

Do you think it’s the allure of opulence that comes with a bottle Champagne? What’s better than hearing a bottle of Champagne open with anticipation and joy? The sudden shower of glitter and foam that suggests joy?

One of the most festive and instantly recognizable sounds in the world is the sound of a champagne cork being popped. Still, don’t feel like you can only drink it on rare occasions. Champagne is considered a luxury drink in many countries, although the French consume it with companions and even on their own.

Despite the bubble and the joy, we’re willing to bet there are still some things you’re not aware of.

Only France makes Champagne

It is widely known that Champagne was first produced in France. Still, for a while Champagne faced competition from other sparkling wines, many of which used Champagne’s reputation and brand to boost sales of their own products.

Champagne is produced only in the Champagne region in northeastern France, about 100 kilometers east of Paris. Yet the wine-making area extends all over it and even into neighboring territories. Importantly, the location is referred to as “la Champagne” (feminine), while the drink itself is “le Champagne” (masculine).

Most of the time it is mixed

In most countries other than France, the grape variety is listed first or even primarily on wine labels. For the most part, this is how New World wines are made. Although many French wines have followed suit, the area has always been prioritized as a more telling indication of a wine’s personality.

The grape can be assumed to be present when not specifically named. In Bordeaux, for example, winemakers often combine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

Just as the grapes in the previous section were blended to create distinct flavors, so are the grapes in several champagnes. To counter this, however, they combine vintages in a way that no other wine producer does.

Champagne is often a combination of 30-50 harvests from several locations, varieties and years. This is done so that the Champagne from that house always tastes the same every time it is opened.

Simply by chance we stumbled upon it

Neither the Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon nor the English scientist Christopher Merret developed sparkling wine, despite two widespread but diametrically opposed myths. Nevertheless, they were both instrumental in shaping Champagne into what it is today.

Really, the phenomenon of sparkling wine was stumbled upon in the Middle Ages at Saint Hilaire Abbey. Some of the other monks at the Benedictine monastery in Carcassone soon caught on to the fact that oak-aged wine occasionally formed bubbles when bottled.

The next time you sit down with your friends and celebrate over a bottle of Champagne, you’ll be more knowledgeable about the same.

Source: The Nordic Page


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