Styles of Champagne

8th March 2014

Styles of Champagne

Styles of Champagne vary enormously. The use of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes generally prevail over minorities such as Meunier, and more often than not white and red grapes are blended. Exceptions are labelled Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) and Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot Noir). The latter tends to be fuller bodied, as does vintage over non-vintage. Indeed, styles range from fruity and floral, to yeasty and biscuity, to richly buttery (becoming honeyed with age).


The famous bubbles, derived from secondary fermentation in bottle, may also vary. The mark of quality is small, persistent bubbles, lasting in the glass; while mature vintage styles tend to have fewer bubbles than non- vintage. The terms `Brut` and `Demi-Sec` on a label indicate the wine is respectively dry and sweet, but they vary in dryness or sweetness according to the Champagne House. Moet Brut, for instance, tastes off-dry. Joseph Perrier Brut is drier. When it comes to food it is said Champagne goes nicely with oysters, smoked salmon or caviar – but the wider consensus is it is most desirable served on its own, as an aperitif, or perhaps with some small crispy nibble to take away the edge of the wine`s acidity. Our tomato-and-basil breadsticks proved to be ideal with vintage Joseph Perrier!

Glass of Bubbly

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