Do You Know Your Champagne Types?Written by David MasifonPosted on 02 08, 2018
Champagne is a drink of class. It creates a difference whenever it is popped, wherever it is sipped. It is the romance in romantic dinners, the celebration of simple gatherings, and the music of victory dances.
So for an entertaining holiday in Lagos, there is only one drink that will spark up your life much more than the beautiful fireworks that will adorn the skies – champagne.
Thus, we bring you a guide on the best places to go to and enjoy your champagne this holiday.
Cuvée de Prestige
Cuvée de Prestige is a top of the range proprietary blended Champagne which is produced to the highest standards. Cuvée de prestige Champagnes is produced by all Champagne Houses, named after notable people with a link to that House and presented in bespoke bottles with non-standard shapes. It is the most luxurious of champagnes – the crème de la crème of champagnes.
Blanc de Noirs
Blanc de Noirs is a French term for white wine or Champagne which is produced entirely from black grapes. As the flesh of grapes which are classified as black or red is, in fact, white, the wine which is produced from these grapes without contact with their skins is in fact essentially white (though it may have a slightly yellower tinge than that of wine produced from white grapes). Blanc de Noirs is made from a combination of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a blend of these two as they are the only two black grapes which are permitted in the making of Champagne.
Blanc de Blancs
Blanc de Blancs (‘white from white’) is a French term for Champagne which is made approximately exclusively from white Chardonnay grapes. Elegant, lithe and pleasing to a mainstream drinker, it is the Champagne of choice among serious oenophiles.
The key Champagne districts where Blanc de Blancs are grown the Côte des Blancs and Côte de Sézanne, the two subregions where the best Chardonnay is grown.
Sommeliers fall for the Blanc de Blancs – the lithe wine is a major feature on their restaurant menu and even at bars at home. It is particularly well suited to pairing with food.
Rosé Champagne, also referred to as Pink Champagne is produced by two methods. The first method is the saignée method where the clear juice of black gapes is left to soak on its skins for a short period.
The second method involves adding a small amount of Pinot Noir red wine to the sparkling cuvée. This allows a pink colour which is consistent and recognisable to be produced from year to year.
Rosé Champagne is extremely popular in middle to upper-class society owing to its soft, fruity yet elegant aromas. It is one of the most preferred wines for wine drinkers with a sweet palate.
Rosé Nectar is a new category of Champagne which has been created solely for the Nigerian and American palette. The taste tends to be significantly sweeter than that of Europe and the rest of the world.
It is a deep, pink Champagne, with nuanced coppery shades. Rosé Nectar Champagne is vibrantly aromatic, combining a bouquet of blackberry, blackcurrant, and cherry flavours with herbal and heady floral notes, It is naturally creamy in the finish.
Know Your Champagne Types by Sweetness
Champagne is further categorised based on the sweetness level. The ripeness of the grapes and the amount of sugar added after the second fermentation affects the levels of sugar left over in the Champagne after bottling.
- Brut Zero – Champagnes with this label have no sugar added to them and this will render them exceptionally dry, with less than 3 grams of residual sugar per litre. The term Brut can be translated from French as meaning ‘raw’; it, therefore, refers to the Champagne as being in its natural state without the addition of sugar.
- Extra Brut Champagne – This champagne contains less than 6 grams of residual sugar per litre.
- Brut Champagne – Champagnes labelled Brut contain less than 12 grams of residual sugar per litre.
- Extra Dry Champagne – The sugar level in this Champagne is between 12 to 17 grams of residual sugar per litre.
- Sec Champagne – Secs contain between 17 and 32 grams of residual sugar per litre.
- Demi-sec Champagne – This is slightly sweet and contains between 32 and 50 grams of residual sugar per litre.
- Doux Champagne – This is sweet of sweets among champagnes. It contains an astonishing 50 grams of residual sugar per litre.
The large majority of Champagne produced in contemporary society is non-vintage; this simply means that it is made from a blend of grapes from several vintages. The base of non-vintage wines will, however, be from a single vintage, with producers blending 10 -15% of wine from older vintages (although this may be as high as 40% in some instances).
In some years when the conditions are favourable, Champagne producers will make vintage Champagne composed entirely of the grapes from that vintage year. Vintage Champagne must mature for at least 3 years prior to being sold. The regulations stipulate that houses which produce both vintage and non-vintage Champagnes can only use 80% of the vintage’s total harvest in the production of vintage Champagne. This ensures a consistency in the style which consumers can expect from non-vintage Champagne; a failure to exercise this caveat may have a detrimental effect on the house’s non-vintage reputation.
A study recently found that Champagne is beneficial to one’s health, helping the brain to cope with the trauma of a stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease as the high amounts of antioxidant polyphenols present in Champagne can help prevent deterioration of the brain cells!