Types of Champagne Explained
There are many different types of champagne that vary wildly in taste and, of course, price. The most widely available is non-vintage (NV) champagne which accounts for as much as 90% of all champagnes produced. The list below outlines the different types of champagne.
Champagne that is blended from a variety of up to 40 different wines from many different years. Champagne producers will keep back 20% of their harvest each year to use in future blends.
Vintage champagne is created from grapes belonging to a particular year. Not all years are deemed ‘Vintage’ and the decision is made by individual Houses.
Rose or ‘Pink’ champagne can be created by one of two methods.
1. By adding a small amount of Pinot Noir red wine to the champagne
2. By pressing the grapes slower than normal to allow the skin time to colour the wine Rose champagne is often revered as a ‘romantic’ champagne based on its colouration.
Prestige (Luxury) Cuvée
A Prestige Cuvée is a Vintage champagne but not only are the grapes from a specific year, but also from the very best vineyards. Although all grapes that make champagne are hand-picked, these really are the pick of the bunch!
Countless champagne blends have been created to cater for all tastes. Demi-Sec (translation: semi-dry) is a medium dry / medium sweet champagne.
Recently disgorged champagne is champagne that is disgorged just before being sold. For many this means that the champagne maintains its freshness and benefits from the additional maturation in the bottle.
Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Champagne is usually made using 3 grapes – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Blanc de Blancs champagne used only white Chardonnay grapes.
Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Blanc de Noirs wines are made only from the Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier red grapes and consequently have a slight salmon or pink tint.