March 11th, 2020: The #theCHAMPAGNEseries: Varietals…Brut

Before we begin…FUN FACT: Opening a bottle of Champagne 101

  • take off the foil wrapping
  • then you will see a metal cage, to take the cage off (6 turns should take it off)
  • take your dominant hand to begin the loosening of the cork
  • take your other hand to hold the bottle in a secure position
  • keep your hand over the top
  • THERE SHOULD BE NO SOUND! NO POP! NO NOTHING!!!!!! (everyone thinks that when you open champagne there should be an explosion and then the inevitable cork goes flying) NO. NO. NO. THIS IS THE WRONG WAY. When you open champagne in this manner, the CO2 releases from the bottle. CO2 is what makes champagne bubbly and effervescent.
  • Whenever you see a cork go flying in the air, you’re looking at an amature.
  • NO SOUND = fizzy bliss
  • Now you know how to “pop a bottle” CORRECTLY.

Anyway, rant over.

Yesterday, I wrote about region and what defines champagne. For the next 3 entries, I am going to discuss varietals. There are many kinds, so I will go over a few (three here).

Champagne Brut Millésimé: There are different subsets of brut. First we have your classic brut champagne, typically this champagne has less than 15 grams of sugar in a bottle. Then, we have extra brut where there is less than 6 grams of sugar. Both varieties are dry to bone dry. Brut is my absolute favorite, for I prefer to sip dry wine in my daily life. You can ensure your bottle is dry by looking at the alcohol content on the bottle. Typically you can locate the alcohol content on the back of the label in tiny print. The average alcohol content on a bottle is around 12%. I prefer an even higher alcohol content, but the 12-13% range is typical. The greater the alcohol content (high percentage) the dryer the finish will be on your palate.

Everyone has different tastes, so keep that in mind when choosing a bottle. When you see a lower percentage of alcohol on the label’s bottle just know you would be sipping on a rather sweet champagne. If you prefer sweet, check the alcohol content and make sure it’s lower than 12%. Tomorrow I will cover Champagne Rosé. and then the third day I will write about Champagne Blanc de Blancs.

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