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All about Champagne
What is Champagne?
An essential component of life's celebratory moments, Champagne comes from the Champagne region in France. This northwestern French territory has chalk and limestone-rich soil that lends the grapes there a higher acidity. This, in turn, gives Champagne its lovely fizz or slight effervescence with lower alcohol content. This wine comprises mainly three grape varieties, including chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.
What's the difference between Champagne and sparkling wine?
Though very similar, the two are not the same. While all Champagne is sparkling wine, not all sparkling wines are Champagne. The latter is strictly regulated and must come from the Champagne region in France. Only seven stipulated varieties of grapes must be present in the blend. Sparkling wine, on the other hand, is not held to very stringent regulations. It may comprise several grape varieties, with wide-ranging flavors and styles. Sparkling wines are also less expensive as compared to Champagne and can come from anywhere in the wine-making world. Consider options like prosecco, which comes from Italy.
Before picking up a bottle of bubbly, it's important to know the various styles and levels of sweetness so you get what you're looking for. Doux or demi-sec variety is sweet Champagne that pairs well with fruits and cheese. It's a nice choice to serve at the close of a meal for a subtly sweet ending. If you're looking for a dry variety, opt for brut or extra brut styles. With a fresh and crisp flavor and mellow astringency, these Champagnes can stimulate the appetite and should, therefore, be served before meals. You can also drink them with mildly sweet desserts, such as rich, dark chocolate mousse or a tart topped with berry compote.