Which Sparkling Wine for Valentine's Day?
Sparkling wine and more precisely Champagne is one the most emblematic wines and often associated with celebrations and Valentine ’s Day. With less than a week until the fateful day, I’ve decided to take a look at the different varieties of this impressive wine and how it is made.
Named after its appellation, only sparkling wines made in this region can use the title of Champagne. With 39 grower cooperatives and 306 champagne houses, the annual production was made up of 309 million bottles in 2015, which less than 10% of French production. Nevertheless, the lands in Champagne are some of the most onerous getting up to 1.5 Million Euros per hectare.
The winemaking process starts by following the same steps as for a normal white wine just with a few specificities. One of the unique features in the elaboration of champagne is the fact that the harvest must be done by hand in order to pick the best berries needed for vinification.
There are many different types of champagne:
Brut Champagne A classic with a weak dosage in sugar
Vintage Brut Champagne
Made out of one unique harvest. In order to promote an exceptional vintage
Demi-sec Champagne Sweeter with 24g of sugar per bottle. Perfect for desserts
Rosé Champagne The only French wine allowing to blend white and red wine together
Blanc de noir Champagne Made out of red berries with white pulp and juice. Mainly Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier. These champagnes are strong and unique due to their aromatic palate.
Blanc de Blanc Champagne A wine made out of only Chardonnay. The Côte de Blancs where we primarily find this varietal makes up for 29% of the Champagne vineyards.
Crémant is another designation given to sparkling wines that don’t come from the champagne region but use the Champagne method of production. Originally the name crémant described the texture of the wine which was more creamy than sparkling due to a low percentage of CO2. The AOC crémants are divided between the following appellations:
Crémant de Bourgogne
Crémant de Loire
Crémant de Limoux
Crémant de Jura
Crémant de Bordeaux
Crémant de Die
Crémant de Savoie
They showcase the specificities of different wine regions in a sparkling format. These wines are now intrinsic with celebratory moments and represent a fundamental part of French luxury.
Which is your favourite sparkling wine?