Eh, Champagne or Not?
Intro – Eh Champagne or not?:
By far one of the more common questions in my classes; most of our clients don’t really know the difference between the sparkling wines – they often think that ALL sparkling wines are champagne; and they’re often wrong. So let’s demystify it as simplistically as we can!
The Basic Truths:
Champagne or not; most of the terms like ‘Champagne’, ‘Brut’, ‘Prosecco’, ‘Cava’ have the same premise – they are all ‘fizzy’ wine. There are many differences between them, like appellation, vintage, grape varietals, sweetness classification but it’s far too boring!
We’ll go through the 2 most important differences: 1. Method & 2. Geography.
Methods – Making the ‘Fizz’:
METHOD #1: Methode Traditionelle
Aka. Methode Champernoise (pronounced as ‘Shamper-noah’) is the process of letting the extra fermentation take place within the bottle – creating fizziness inside the bottle.
METHOD 2: Batch or Tank Fermentation
Produced wine is placed in stainless steel vats (tanks) and left to ferment (for fizz) then bottled.
METHOD 3: Carbonation
Much like soda/soft drinks, wine is encased in a steel tank then ‘pumped’ with carbon dioxide until a level of ‘fizziness’ is attained.
Geography – Where it’s from?:
Most sparkling wine names are tied to where they are produced from! Here’s a short list:
France: Champagne (only from the region of Champagne), Brut, Cremant.
Italy: Prosecco, Spumante
Everywhere else: Sparkling Wine
So, is it Champagne or not?
So if there’s no mention or word on that bottle that says from Champange – it’s not champagne! If you want to look more ‘atas’ stop calling it so! Otherwise, if you’re unsure; calling it ‘sparkling’ or ‘sparkling wine’ would suffice!
As always have fun and uh, drink moderately! – Chef Gary
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