Non-Vintage Champagnes: A blend of wines from many different years, so non-vintage. A classic NV blend is 60% Pinot Noir / Pinot Meunier (Champagne’s black grapes) and 40% Chardonnay (the only white grape grown in the region). Non-vintage champagnes are easy on the palate and on the pocket, so are perfect served alongside canapés at a drinks party.
Blanc de Blancs Champagnes: 100% Chardonnay. They make crisp, lively aperitifs and are excellent with oysters, shellfish and elegantly flavoured white fish. Letting them age will add depth to their flavour and will make a perfect accompaniment to creamy sauces and sweet spiced dishes – although steer clear of hot spicy foods if you’re knocking back champagne.
Blanc de Noirs Champagnes: 100% black grapes (Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier). These full-bodied Champagnes can easily stand up to fairly robust dishes such as partridge, veal and pork – so they’re great if you’re going to be tucking into game for your Christmas dinner.
Vintage Champagnes: Only produced in exceptional years and are a blend of wines from the same year. Vintage champagnes have to be aged in the producer’s cellars for three years by law, so you know you’re getting the good stuff. They are complex wines, which can be paired with a wide variety of dishes and are the perfect match for your Christmas turkey or goose.
Non-Vintage Rosé Champagnes: Produced either by adding a small proportion of red wine to the golden blend or by letting the juice remain in contact with the skin of the grapes for a short time during fermentation.
Vintage Rosé Champagnes: Aged vintage rosé Champagnes have a rich, savoury character that works well with red meat and traditional festive flavours, such as cranberry and redcurrant – a great match for beef on your festive dining table.
Demi-Sec Champagnes: Sweeter styles of Champagnes, which are the perfect end to your meal teamed with your Christmas pud.
Brut Champagne is a level of sweetness in sparkling wine. The sweetness comes from a step in the Champagne making process called “dosage” (“doe-sazj”) which is when a small amount of sugar or grape must is added back into the wine before corking the wine. Because sparkling wine is traditionally very acidic, the purpose of this sweetness is to reduce the intensity of tartness. You can think of it like adding a little sugar to coffee to “round out” the flavor.
Over time, sparkling wine producers realized that people’s sweetness preference varied and this is why there are several option to choose from. from Brut Nature has no added sugar and Doux has 50 or more g/l or residual sugar –50 g/l RS is equivalent to just over 2 teaspoons of sugar per glass.