Champagne is such a versatile wine that at nearly all times it suits my temperament. Call it champagne, Bubbly, Champs, Prosecco, Cava, Espumante, Frizzante, Sekt, Pezsgő, Sovetskoye Shampanskoye, Sparklers, there are many names by region for Sparling Wine and I enjoy them all!
This post is the fourth in the Winesday series on building a catalog of wines for a cellar. Before we advance to wines priced above the twenty five dollar mark we want to add a few bottles of bubbly to the brunch. Ooops, did we say brunch? We meant lunch it’s just something about sparking wine drifts me off into a daydream of chocolate fountains, crab legs, omelet bars and mimosas…
Technically speaking the right to be called Champagne requires the grapes to be from Champagne, France and must be produced in the “methode champenoise”. There is an expansive spectrum of information for sparkling wine and the wine process that accidentally occurred while making wine but that’s information for a subsequent post.
Here are a few things to know before choosing a bubbly that is the right quality and style for you.
- Cuvée de prestige is the top quality champagne by producer
- Blanc de blanc is made strictly from chardonnay grapes
- Rosé is made by remaining skins in juice or by adding pinot noir to sparkling wine
- Champagne does not have to have a vintage, i.e. 2009. A vintage champagne is simply one where the wine in the bottle comes from a single year’s grape harvest, whereas non-vintage champagne is a blended product from multiple harvests.
- Champagne is fermented twice which is why it has bubbles, The smaller and slower the bubbles, the better which is a factor in price.
- New to champagne? Or looking to explore your tastebuds with new or high end bottles on a budget? Purchasing “splits” or mini bottles of champagne that usually hold a glass and a half for $10-15 is a great way to test the waters without shelling out big bucks.
Do you have a sweet tooth? Below is the measure of remaining sugars in champagne.
- Extra Brut (less than 6 grams of residual 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) (dessert wine)
Our Suggested Bubbly Spirits(Prices vary by location and season)(Lowest prices are often at Sams Club)
Wilson Creek Almond Champagne, CA $12
Ruffino Prosecco, Tuscany Italy $13
La Marca Prosecco, Veneto Italy $14
Mumm Napa Brut Prestige, Napa CA $17
Mumm Napa Cuvée, Napa Valley CA $18
Domaine Chandon Brut Classic, CA $18
Domaine Carneros Brut , Carneros CA $25
Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve, Champagne France $35
GH Mumm Brut Cordon Rouge, Champagne France $37
Moet and Chandon Imperial Brut, Champagne France $40
Perrier Jouet Grand Brut, Champagne France $43
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut , Champagne France $50Starting a Wine Cellar Vol.1 (Wines $10 or less) Starting a Wine Cellar Vol. 2 (Wines $15 and under) Starting a Wine Cellar Vol. 3 (Wines $16-$24)