Happy World Champagne Day! Grab your flutes or your coupes and let’s pop open France’s most widely celebrated sparkling wine, which is truly in a class of its own.
Champagne is a drink that has been favored by the English royalty, entertainers, and wine enthusiasts alike. It’s also a staple at celebrations of any kind. Champagne is a drink which screams opulence and refinement, which is what attracts drinkers to keep coming back for more.
But first, a little bit of background information on this important bubbly drink. The region of Champagne is one of the most tightly regulated wine regions in the world. There are rules for just about everything pertaining to yields, vintage declarations, grape usage, trellises, and so forth.
Contrary to popular belief champagne was not founded by the monk Dom Perrignon. In France, the first sparkling champagne was created accidentally. At the time, bubbles were considered a fault. The oldest recorded sparkling wine is Blanquette de Limoux, which was apparently invented by Benedictine monks in the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire, near Carcassonne in 1531. This is a wine of Southwest France.
Interesting enough, Champagne has also received recognition from UNESCO. On 4 July 4th 2015, the “Hillsides, Houses, and Cellars of Champagne” were added to the list of World Heritage Sites. Sounds like Champagne has come a long way from its days being called “the devil’s wine” (le vin du diable), as bottles exploded or corks popped. Ironically, we now celebrate joyous occasions with pops of corks!
A Favorite Champagne for Every Budget
As promised in the title here are 5 champagnes that are truly my favorites of the moment. If you click the images it’ll take you to a website to purchase.
This Rosé Champagne has consistently done well year after year. A pale salmon color with fantastic red fruits and toasty notes make this a favorite of mine. The bubbles are incredibly persistent yet, delicate and refreshing. SRP less than $90
If Goldie Locks herself was in search of her just right champagne this would be it. Not overly acidic, fruity, or doughy. I enjoy the notes of cherry, apples, and just a touch of toast. The best part of this champagne is that it is also under $45 SRP.
As pictured in my Instagram post this morning, this is definitely the Champagne I’d take to bed. Champagne Aubry is proof you don’t have to be a big Champagne house to make great champagne. What’s even more exciting is that there is the additional of little-known Petit Meslier, Arbanne, and Fromenteau (5%). Lemon zest, brioche, and white florals, simple yet, not. A great aperitif or for breakfast in bed! SRP under $45.
Alright Blanc de Blanc Fans, this one is for you. 100% Chardonnay. Great acidity, green apple, citrus and floral notes. Perfect as a palate cleaner or on its own. 6g/RS SRP less than $50
It’s not very often that you find a 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne. What I like about Leclerc is that they started using organic farming in the 1960’s Fifth generation vigneron, Pascal Leclerc began following biodynamic principles in 1988. Notes of plum, quince, and almond. This is a bone dry style of champagne with zero dosage. This champagne is best enjoyed with a meal and can stand up to a good amount of spice. SRP under $250