Champagne is arguably one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the world, along with wine and beer. What makes champagne interesting as an alcoholic is that it has a sparkling quality to its texture while also being fruity and noticeably light in taste. Champagne is usually enjoyed during weddings, birthdays, celebrations, and special occasions, although there are some that enjoy drinking it alone or with friends during regular days.
There are thousands of different champagne products to buy from Pommery Champagne and other champagne houses, so many beginners in the said alcoholic drink may have a hard time finding the most suitable bottle for them in terms of their tastes. If you are one of those beginners, don’t worry, as we will share some tips for buying a good bottle of champagne. So, here are tips on how to pick good champagne.
Choose a Style of Champagne
The style of the champagne would determine the color of the alcohol, as well as its overall flavor. Choosing a specific style would allow you to have a much better first-time experience in drinking champagne, as you will already have expectations of what it would taste like instead of being surprised and eventually not liking it. Here are the most popular styles of champagne you can try:
- Blanc de Blancs – also known as “white of whites,” this style of champagne is made with pure white grapes and is usually translucent yellow in color. It is described as having an apple and lemon flavor.
- Blanc de Noirs – also called “white of blacks,” this champagne style is created using 100% black grapes. This style typically has a more sour flavor compared to the Blanc de Blancs, and some would even describe it as having a blueberry or raspberry taste.
- Rosé – a style that combines champagne with a little bit of red Pinot Meunier or Pinot Noir wine to create its iconic light pink color. This style of champagne has a sparkling quality while retaining the raspberry flavor from the wine added to it.
Choose a Level of Sweetness
Champagne is inherently sweet in flavor, but there are different levels to its sweetness that you can choose from. Here are the sweetness levels for champagne that you should know about:
- Extra Brut
- Natural Brut
- Extra Dry
- Extra Sec
Doux is the sweetest of all levels and is usually paired with desserts and other sweet delicacies. On the other hand, brut, extra brut, and natural brut are levels that are less sweet than doux and are paired with savory foods like pasta and pizza. If you want a balanced level of sweetness and sourness, then you should get champagne with the demi-sec, sec, extra dry, and extra sec levels.
Pick the Producer of the Champagne
There are many producers of champagne around the world, and in the Champagne region of France, the producers are divided into three categories or types, which are Maisons, Cooperatives, and Vignerons. Take a look below for some details about each of these types of champagne producers in Champagne, France.
- Maisons – these are the large champagne houses that produce large batches of champagne per year. In order to produce those large batches, they would source their grapes in different parts of the Champagne wine region.
- Cooperatives – these are villages in the Champagne region that grow grapes and produce champagne on their own. As evident in their name, Cooperatives are composed of different growers that cooperate with each in order to produce champagne.
- Vignerons – these are family-owned champagne houses that grow their own grapes and have a dedicated area for making champagne.
Decide If You Want Vintage Champagne
One of the best kinds of champagnes is the vintage ones, which are aged for a minimum of three years. The reason why vintage champagne is considered one of the best is that it has a very strong flavor along with the nutty and toasty that it gets from how long it has been aged in oak barrels. However, the downside to vintage champagne is that it can be quite expensive on the market, so you will need to have a large budget to buy it. Here are some of the things you should know about vintage and non-vintage champagne.
- Vintage Champagne – this kind of champagne is aged for more than three years and is created in small batches along with bigger batches of non-vintage champagne. Vintage champagne is described as having a creamy and stronger flavor profile.
- Non-Vintage Champagne – this champagne is consistently created in champagne houses in larger batches compared to vintage champagne. Despite being called non-vintage, this kind of champagne is still aged, although it is only aged for 15 months or more.
Check Out Reviews
If you don’t want to check champagne bottles one by one online or in physical stores, then you should just read or watch reviews through review websites, blogs, forums, and video streaming platforms like YouTube. Through reviews, you will be able to know more about the flavor of the champagne, as well as its quality, as the reviewers would already describe everything about the champagne for you.
However, people can have different tastes and preferences, so there may be a few reviewers that have different opinions about a champagne bottle compared to most reviews. So, read and watch many reviews of specific champagne products so that you will truly know which ones are popular among the majority of reviewers.
Champagne can be one of the most expensive alcoholic drinks that you will buy in your lifetime, but they are always worth it to purchase because of how good they are in terms of flavor and how much care is put into the production of these great products. Follow the tips we provided above so that you will always pick the best champagne.