Brush up on your Champagne knowledge, courtesy of Charles Heidsieck
Ahead of the next occasion where you raise a glass and toast to existing relationships, new relationships or being free from relationships all together, we wanted to share with you some essential education in the field of Champagne.
Champagne is after all the drink of celebration and whilst many of us are happy to drink it, understanding its deeper values is something that can be easily overlooked.
These five gems of knowledge come courtesy of Tori Eeles, Charles Heidsieck Brand Manager. We're not suggesting that you remember and recite them to everybody that you know in order to appear like an obsessed enthusiast, but they may certainly come in handy when it comes to that next toast.
Champagne is the name of the region where the wine comes from, north east of Paris. The chalky soils and climate there are ideal for growing the type of grapes needed to make top quality sparkling wine.
Champagne is made from three grape varieties, one white (Chardonnay), and two red (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier). The red grapes are pressed gently to extract the clear juice, without letting the skins colour it.
Every bottle of Champagne is at least 15 months in the making. All Champagne is aged in its bottle for a legal minimum of 15 months, and often much longer. The very best champagne is aged for up to 15 years or more.
Most Champagne is made from a blend of harvests, hence why it may be called ‘non-vintage’. The more harvests used in the blend, the more complex it will be. A ‘Vintage’ Champagne is only made in particularly good harvests, and the year will be shown on the front label of the bottle. It will be aged longer - the legal minimum is 3 years - and will be more distinctive in style from ‘non-vintage’ wines.
The grapes grown in Champagne are the most expensive in the world.