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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Champagne 101

During this time of year many families and companies celebrate by having holiday gatherings. Many people love to celebrate with Champagne. So I decided to do a little Champagne 101.
Champagne is the most famous sparkling wine in the world. It gets it great taste from a combination of France’s soil, weather, and strict regulations on the production process. Many sparkling wine makers use the name Champagne, but true Champagne is only produced in the Champagne region of France.
Most Champagne is made from three kinds of grapes. The white grape is Chardonnay. Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are black grapes. The amount of sugar added after the second fermentation determines the sweetness of the Champagne. Brut is the most popular type and it is considered dry or not sweet. It pairs well with desserts and is used a lot for wedding toasts. Sec is sweet Champagne that pairs well with acidy fruit, mildly seasoned dishes, and caviar.
The majority of Champagne is non-vintage. Which means it is less expensive than that produced in vintage years. Non-vintage Champagne is a mixture of grapes produced from different harvests and years. It must20be aged one year. Vintage Champagne must have grapes harvested from a single year and must be aged a minimum of three years.Champagne is more sensitive to temperature and light than most wines. It should be stored between forty and sixty degrees Fahrenheit. Champagne is best served chilled. You can do this by placing the bottle in the refrigerator a couple of hours, putting it in the freezer for 15 minutes or putting the bottle in a bucket of ice for 20 minutes.

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