Champagne


Australian Champagne wine regional and flavour profile

Champagne tastes and aromas

Flavours of apple, pear, citrus, strawberry, cream and vanilla, with yeast and nutty notes, and aromas of fresh applesauce, spiced apple, and ripe pear.

Champagne mouthfeel

Champagne wines can range from extra dry, dry, and sweet, and have a relatively low alcohol content of 12%

Champagne cellaring potential

Due to its high acidity and carbon dioxide, Champagne is capable of long-term ageing, sometimes up to 100 years. A well-aged sparkling wine will lose some of its carbonation, turn a deeper colour, and the flavours will evolve into dried fruit, nutty, honey and toasty notes.

Facts about Champagne

  • Champagne is made from three grape varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunie
  • Over 300 million bottles of Champagne are consumed globally each year.
  • Champagne bottles contain pressure as high as 90 pounds per square inch – more than the pressure found inside a typical car tire. Depending on how the bottle had been handled, corks can fly at speeds of up to 80 KMs PH.
  • A study by Morrisons discovered that over 900,000 accident-prone Brits suffer champagne-related injuries, with the flyaway cork being the main cause (8%).
  • In France, the first sparkling Champagne was created accidentally; its pressure led it to be called “the devil’s wine” (le vin du diable), as bottles exploded or corks jolted away. In 1844 Adolphe Jaquesson invented the muselet to prevent the corks from blowing out.
  • The carbonation of Champagne wine occurs during a mandatory secondary fermentation which occurs in the bottle.
  • Champagne first gained world renown because of its association with the anointment of French kings. Royalty from throughout Europe spread the message of the unique sparkling wine from Champagne and its association with luxury and power in the 17th, 18th and 19th century.
  • There are many sparkling wines produced worldwide, yet most legal structures reserve the word champagne exclusively for sparkling wines from the Champagne region, made in accordance with Comité Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne regulations.
  • Champagne is mostly fermented in two sizes of bottles, standard bottles (750 millilitres), and magnums (1.5 litres). In general, magnums are thought to be higher quality, as there is less oxygen in the bottle, and the volume to surface area favours the creation of appropriately sized bubbles.

Regions

Though “champagne” has been used as a generic term for sparking wines, in fact, Champagne wines can only be produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France.

Champagne food pairings

Many amateurs and experts agree that champagne is more versatile than any other wine. It can be drunk with an increasingly wide array of foods, as opposed to a number of years ago, when it was only drunk with caviar and oysters on the half shell. The acidity and bubbles of Champagne help cleanse the palate when paired with greasy meals, and the wines yeast characters make it a wonderful accompaniment to fried mushrooms and cheese. The fresh acidity makes it ideal with seafood, as well as fruit dishes and desserts.

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