Champagne is probably the best known wine in the world. And, there’s a lot to know it about this wine.
Here are some fun-facts about Champagne:
Champagne is not made from Champagne grapes
Champagne is typically produced from three grapes — Pinot Noir (Yes! A red wine grape!), Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier
To be called Champagne, it must be produced in the Champagne region of France. Otherwise, it’s called Sparkling Wine
California can produce Champagne – such as Korbel, Cook’s or André – and it is perfectly legal to be called Champagne. The loophole that makes this legal stems from a ruling in 2005, after two decades of court battles, when the U.S. and the EU reached an agreement. In exchange for easing trade restrictions on wine, the American government agreed that Champagne would no longer appear on domestic wine labels – that is, unless a producer was already using the name
The first step in making Champagne is to make the wine, like any other wine, in a barrel or tank and bottle it
The wine becomes carbonated by a second fermentation inside the bottle that is initiated by adding a solution of sugar and yeast. As the yeast consumes the sugar, it gives off carbon dioxide which stays trapped in the wine since the bottle is capped
Champagne bottle are stored with their neck down during the second fermentation so that the yeast will settle in the neck
The upside down bottles are regularly turned to ensure all the yeast ends up in the neck of the bottle in a process called riddling
The Champagne bottle is then opened and the spent yeast is removed or disgorged
Finally, some additional wine and sugar is added (the dosage) to balance the Champagne’s acidity
This process of making Champagne is called the méthode champenoise
So, there you have it. A few fun facts about the most famous sparkling wine in the world - Champagne. Cheers!