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What did the former English Prime Minister see when he looked into a glass of the yellow-gold liquid? Did the soft sigh of the cork being released from the finish of the bottle ease the mind of the man who ran Britain during the Second World War? Although Sir Winston Churchill’s fame for drinking Champagne, we must, raise our glasses and toast the French when enjoying our next bottle. There begs a question of Champagne types. Is Sparkling Wine Champagne?
Champagne Types: Champagne Or Sparkling Wine?
Yes, Champagne is wine. Sparkling wine is by definition also wine. Both involve the same fermentation process as a wine with no bubbles. There are, however, distinct differences between the two. Appellation d’origine contrôlée is a French certification given to various foods and wines that state authenticity from the region from which they originate. This is the first distinction of Champagne from Sparkling wine or other bubbly’s. Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France.
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The last is Pinot Meunier. This lesser known grape actually composes nearly one third of all the grapes planted in the Champagne region of France!
Cuvée, a blend composed of 3 main varieties of grapes form authentic Champagne. The first, and paramount among them is Chardonnay. Chardonnay grown in the climate of the Champagne region specifically, but as a grape as a variety has an exquisite balance between the vibrant sugars and refreshing acids within it. It is as perfect of a grape with which to make Champagne because of this.
Second, is Pinot Noir. Carefully cultivated into Champagne, Pinot Noir’s difficulty and sensitivity in growth adds to the process. This grape has a plethora of differing aromas and attributes dependent on the climate in which they’re grown. The perfect Pinot Noir are grown in the colder months. Wines made from the grape are now among the most popular in the world. Considering they contribute to the making of Champagne, it seems no surprise!
The last is Pinot Meunier. This lesser known grape actually composes nearly one third of all the grapes planted in the Champagne region of France! It is a hybrid, the inner grape close in genotype to the pinot noir or pinot gris. The epidermal layer something altogether different. Seldomly found credited on wine bottles; Pinot Meunier an unsung hero. Furthermore, contributing to Pinot Meunier’s lesser known status despite amount grown. For years, Champagne makers did not even acknowledge it as part of their blend. Was this to protect their secretive process and authenticity?
In the end, all Champagne types are wine. However, not all sparkling wine is Champagne; only those produced in the Champagne region of France. In many ways, Champagne might be the most celebrated wine on the planet; used to commemorate joyous occasions around the world. In conclusion, its storied history and protected heritage, to it’s regional distinction and protected, almost secretive recipes; Champagne is a drink we should all celebrate. In short, people should be thankful, Churchill left Champagne for others to enjoy.