Champagne is the ultimate symbol of luxury and celebration. Maybe it’s a new year, your best friend’s wedding, Leo winning an Oscar, or brunch with the girls; that pop of the cork instantly sets the mood. And there’s no better way to express your love and appreciation for mom than a bottle of bubbly. But are you drinking the best Champagne for the occasion? Next time you’re reaching for a bottle of bubbles, skip the Andre and Freixenet and use this guide to make a more educated decision.
As a complex blend of varietals, Champagne is very versatile in pairing and should be selected appropriately. This Champagne Guide, courtesy of Aria Resort & Casino, breaks it down bottle by bottle: from what Champagne actually is, to pairings and even how much you’re going to spend.
Picking the right bottle of champagne starts with understanding the label. From the label alone, you can find out the type of grapes used, how it will taste and the overall blend of the champagne. Here are a couple of pointers to help you out…
- Vintage: Made from the grapes of a single year’s harvest. It typically offers a fuller and deeper taste.
- Non-Vintage: Made from grapes of different years’
- Extra Brut: Driest form with a dosage level of 0-6 g/L (grams of sugar per liter).
- Brut: Most common and popular style with a dosage level of 6-12 g/L.
- Extra Dry: Contains more sugar than Brut and a dosage level of 12-17 g/L.
- Sec: Contains a dosage level of 17-32 g/L.
- Demi-Sec: Contains a dosage level of 32-50 g/L.
- Doux: Sweetest form with a dosage level of over 50 g/L
- Blanc de Blancs: Made from Chardonnay grapes.
- Blanc de Noirs: Made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes.
- Rosé: Made by macerating Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grapes.
What’s the difference in grapes, you ask?
- Chardonnay grapes add a distinct freshness, elegance and finesse to the Champagne.
- Pinot Noir grapes add body, structure, aroma and a blend of complex flavors.
- Pinot Meunier grapes contribute to the fruitiness, floral aromas and a bright character.
– See more on Aria’s Blog.
Reprinted with permission from Aria Resort & Casino.